UK Detecting Drivers' Cell Phone Usage

FrgMstr

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The UK is testing out a new system that will detect whether or not a mobile phone is being used in your car and it will flash a sign at you. Next week in the UK, automatic ticket writing systems will go into effect. Seriously, the system is looking to simply be a deterrent at this time since it cannot tell the difference between a driver or passenger.

"The system cannot differentiate between a driver and the passengers on a bus, for example, but this goes some way towards remotely warning drivers that they can be detected using their phone." Using a directional antenna, the detector picks up radio waves emitted from a phone handset, and measures the signal strength and length of activation. When a signal is detected of a duration and signal strength sufficient to activate the system, the detector triggers the sign. The detector is able to distinguish Bluetooth connections which, when picked up, will prevent the trigger activation.
 

mysticdrew

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This is a good start, tired of hearing about people getting killed by those on cell phones. Last week I saw a guy on his phone in traffic, I could tell as I was coming up to him from behind, he was slowly drifting. Then quickly correct back into his lane. I passed him, looked at him and saw he was on his phone, texting or looking at the screen. About 5 minute later he passed me as my lane slowed. 30 seconds after that he crashed in the concrete barrier. We were going 5mph... Lol I saw it all go down, it was fantastic.
 

_l_

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here in the USA you can drive and use cell phone if you're using a bluetooth headset. Will that "system" know if you have a bluetooth in use, or not? And even if it does, what the heck will a flashing light do when most folks don't even obey current driving laws?
 

J3RK

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This is a good start, tired of hearing about people getting killed by those on cell phones. Last week I saw a guy on his phone in traffic, I could tell as I was coming up to him from behind, he was slowly drifting. Then quickly correct back into his lane. I passed him, looked at him and saw he was on his phone, texting or looking at the screen. About 5 minute later he passed me as my lane slowed. 30 seconds after that he crashed in the concrete barrier. We were going 5mph... Lol I saw it all go down, it was fantastic.
I get it, and agree for the most part (well about people multi-tasking beyond their abilities while driving anyway). However, this is absolutely asinine. I guess if they want to flash a warning, ok. However, the sign can't tell where in the car this is coming from. It also can't tell which kind of data is in use. You could have the phone on speaker. You could be receiving an SMS message. You could have a game syncing data while the phone is sitting on your passenger seat. There are so many ways to produce false positives, that I wage they'd grossly outnumber true violations.

A flashing sign as a reminder to get off your phone is one thing. As soon as they try to ticket people based on this tech, I think they're going entirely too far.

How about if there's a phone sitting on the floor of the car, acting as a WiFi tether? It belongs to the driver. Someone else in the car is messaging via iMessage or other WiFi protocol.

Voice texting (while inaccurate) is another legal method that would get flagged by this.
 
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viper1152012

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Because Pandora and gps don't use data and the Bluetooth bridge to Ford's SYNC won't trigger it?

It'll be ignored until photo evidence can back it up.

I wish the fines were crazy because I'm tired of being rear-ended by people on phones:(
 

STEvil

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If you cant operate a car while having a conversation to the person next to you or on a bluetooth device you probably are not capable of safely driving to start with.

There are a myriad of things you need to do that move your attention away from directly in front of you, the least of which is talking.
 

Evil_SPanKY

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Because Pandora and gps don't use data and the Bluetooth bridge to Ford's SYNC won't trigger it?

It'll be ignored until photo evidence can back it up.

I wish the fines were crazy because I'm tired of being rear-ended by people on phones:(
LOL, you read my mind. Completely useless technology in the end. Our phone are ALWAYS in use, even when pocketed with tech like EAS and other push based notifications/apps. Or what about cars with built-in Wifi? Those will also trip this since they are basically just data-only phone connections in the end.
 

U-238

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So let me get this straight:

The Brits have designed a system that is supposed to help prevent accidents caused by people looking at their phones while driving. This system will flash a sign located on the roadside intending to alert the driver who isn't paying attention to the roadside (or the signs along it) that they need to quit looking at their phone.

Let that sink in for just a moment...
 

Drakeniir

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if you use a GPS, if you listen to streaming music, if you use a hands free device....

Yeah, pointless waste of money.

Also, what U-238 said. Unless Shaming works there, but last time I checked offending someone was punishable by death over there, so I guess you can't do that either.
 

viper1152012

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You mean they will be alertes by a flashy sign that makes them paranoid and brake happy?

I'm sure they could throw some speed trap strobe lights and rolling stop RGB in there and make every crash a PARTY for a small investment (lulls)
 

Nenu

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It is useless unless it can show exactly which car the message is for without creating a further hazard, and comes with points on the license.
It will be a distraction from the road for drivers who feel the need to check their phone is doing something.
Worse than useless, a kneejerk.
 
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J3RK

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You mean they will be alertes by a flashy sign that makes them paranoid and brake happy?

I'm sure they could throw some speed trap strobe lights and rolling stop RGB in there and make every crash a PARTY for a small investment (lulls)
Road Rave!!!
 

M76

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Why do I immediately think dystopia?

Demolition man's future is closer than ever, especially in the UK. The only difference is you won't be fined for swearing, but for going against PC standards.
 

J3RK

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...and comes with points on the license.
That's the problem though. Look at all of the legitimate and legal uses mentioned in several threads above. We don't want something that can automatically ticket / assign/alter points / etc. based on any number of false positives.
 

J3RK

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Why do I immediately think dystopia?

Demolition man's future is closer than ever, especially in the UK. The only difference is you won't be fined for swearing, but for going against PC standards.
Verbal morality statute.

As long as we get the three sea-shells out of the deal though, maybe it won't be so bad. :p
 

Kdawg

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people need to learn how to use their cell phones. Every time i see a dumbfuck looking down at the front passenger seat.
Put the phone above the steering wheel directly in front of you and don't look at the screen more than 1 second at a time.
i thought it was common sense.
 

J3RK

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people need to learn how to use their cell phones. Every time i see a dumbfuck looking down at the front passenger seat.
Put the phone above the steering wheel directly in front of you and don't look at the screen more than 1 second at a time.
i thought it was common sense.
Well, to be fair, some people (most maybe?) can't even do THAT. As usual we need blanket policies for the least common denominator.

My biggest issue with current mobile laws in cars, is that I can drive a car VERY well while talking on the phone. No problem at all, no loss in focus (over just having more people in the car) and I'm more than happy to just toss the phone down in an emergency. I don't text while driving though, unless maybe I'm at a stop light, and want to send a two word text like "On way..." to my wife or something.

Then you have the idiots holding their speakerphone up to their face like that's somehow better than holding the phone on the side of your head out of your field of vision. :confused:

I can see why states / countries have come down so hard on ALL mobile comms in cars, but really there are some fine lines that COULD be drawn that would allow those with common sense to still operate.

Alas, we all have to pay for the stupidity of the idiots. To the point where someone thinks it's a good idea to have a flashing sign telling you to stop using a phone you're probably not even touching in the first place.
 
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J3RK

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They're gonna have to have the system automatically text a warning to the offenders I'm afraid.
I think the most effective would be a text along with a quick call and voicemail.

The text will say "Please check your voicemail."
The voicemail will say "Please don't text while driving."

Meanwhile you've crashed into a telephone pole.
 

Darunion

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I think the most effective would be a text along with a quick call and voicemail.

The text will say "Please check your voicemail."
The voicemail will say "Please don't text while driving."

Meanwhile you've crashed into a telephone pole.
Ugh the giant billboards that flicker at night to get your attention, should also be illegal.

Also radio stations should not be allowed to play car horns or police sirens on them lol.

I could honestly see them doing something like this, a text that says "put me down to save lives".

Yea such a system is stupid and likely just a publicity stunt since you even getting a call or your phone decided now is the time to sync and download app updates lol.
 

J3RK

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Ugh the giant billboards that flicker at night to get your attention, should also be illegal.

Also radio stations should not be allowed to play car horns or police sirens on them lol.

I could honestly see them doing something like this, a text that says "put me down to save lives".

Yea such a system is stupid and likely just a publicity stunt since you even getting a call or your phone decided now is the time to sync and download app updates lol.
Ugh, I HATE sirens on the radio (or in music). Sure, it's fine at home. However, as someone that used to drive only sports cars, and often a bit above posted speeds, it drives me nuts! I get paranoid even though I don't drive very fast anymore. :D
 

Teenyman45

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So let me get this straight:

The Brits have designed a system that is supposed to help prevent accidents caused by people looking at their phones while driving. This system will flash a sign located on the roadside intending to alert the driver who isn't paying attention to the roadside (or the signs along it) that they need to quit looking at their phone.

Let that sink in for just a moment...
The first time I drove a car that had a blind spot detection system... I was not told in advance that the dealer service loaner had one of those systems. So, as soon as I pull out of the service department I go to a nearby parking to adjust the seat and mirrors and such to drive safely and responsibly; not even speeding, gasp and shock. But less than five minutes later while on a major road there's this bright yellow flashing at the corner of my left eye's peripheral that startled me and nearly caused me to have an accident.
 

J3RK

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I suppose all new mobile phones will be DNA encoded, and know when they're in your hand, just like the weapons in Butcher Bay. The phone will constantly transmit an ID code. Then the road-side detectors will know if A) the phone is in use and B) if it's in your hand at the time. Then send you the bill.

Better yet, this is all done through the carrier, with no need for road-side detection. You'll just get your illegal use bill at the end of each billing cycle with applicable fees and taxes added on. (for your convenience, and her pleasu... oh wait...)

What a wonderful world. :D
 

Nenu

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That's the problem though. Look at all of the legitimate and legal uses mentioned in several threads above. We don't want something that can automatically ticket / assign/alter points / etc. based on any number of false positives.
That was my point, it will be difficult to implement and until then has no merit.
It is possible by taking photos at multiple angles of the infracting vehicle so a human can determine if there was a violation.
But that will never happen so its pointless.
 

J3RK

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I have a brand new roll of tinfoil for my hats.
You might want to wrap your car in it. :p

The funny thing about the foil argument, is that all of the things that people accused of needing it are worried about, are typically real thing that are happening. There's nothing imaginary about anything stated in this thread so far, other than a few obvious jokes.

Our freedoms and privacy are in fact shrinking on a daily basis. No amount of foil is going to stop it.
 

Kinestron

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Because Pandora and gps don't use data and the Bluetooth bridge to Ford's SYNC won't trigger it?

It'll be ignored until photo evidence can back it up.

I wish the fines were crazy because I'm tired of being rear-ended by people on phones:(
I was thinking the same thing. Isn't a phone almost always transmitting? Talking to towers, doing handoffs, getting notifications, sending data to the NSA, etc.
 

MV75

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And what makes them think texting drivers will even see those signs?
 
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Canon

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This is retarded.... Visual verification that someone is talking on the phone or using it is all that is needed. They would be better off with a camera with a polarizing filter on it.... Plus then they would actually have visual proof of what is going on which could be used in court....

This thing will just be flashing all the time, why bother with the fancy BS radio technology and just have reminder sign flashing when people drive by? It's sad that any of this is necessary.
 

J3RK

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This is retarded.... Visual verification that someone is talking on the phone or using it is all that is needed. They would be better off with a camera with a polarizing filter on it.... Plus then they would actually have visual proof of what is going on which could be used in court....

This thing will just be flashing all the time, why bother with the fancy BS radio technology and just have reminder sign flashing when people drive by? It's sad that any of this is necessary.
Well, someone thought it would be cool to build it. Then they followed the media long enough to realize that they could cash in with some form of government entity at this time. They were probably right. It won't serve any real purpose, but it will spawn copy-cats that can do it better, and invade citizen privacy with 15X efficiency. :p
 

MacLeod

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Things are just getting ridiculous in the UK and this one is just stupid. The whole "cell phone while driving" paranoia is getting ridiculous. Stupid as fuck drivers have always existed and will continue to be stupid as fuck even without cell phones. I get not texting while driving but talking on a cell phone is no more distracting than drinking something while driving or talking to the guy in the car next to you. But I'm sure it won't be long til placed like the UK will eventually try to ban food and drinks in cars, ya know, for the children.

Direct traffic a few times and you'll see what I'm talking about. The people that drive like shit with a cell phone are still going to drive like shit without one.
 

nutzo

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I get it, and agree for the most part (well about people multi-tasking beyond their abilities while driving anyway). However, this is absolutely asinine. I guess if they want to flash a warning, ok. However, the sign can't tell where in the car this is coming from. It also can't tell which kind of data is in use. You could have the phone on speaker. You could be receiving an SMS message. You could have a game syncing data while the phone is sitting on your passenger seat. There are so many ways to produce false positives, that I wage they'd grossly outnumber true violations.

A flashing sign as a reminder to get off your phone is one thing. As soon as they try to ticket people based on this tech, I think they're going entirely too far.

How about if there's a phone sitting on the floor of the car, acting as a WiFi tether? It belongs to the driver. Someone else in the car is messaging via iMessage or other WiFi protocol.

Voice texting (while inaccurate) is another legal method that would get flagged by this.
This.

What if the phone is sitting on my dash giving me GPS directions (voice)?
Completely legal in all US states, as long as it's not in my hand.
 
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J3RK

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Things are just getting ridiculous in the UK and this one is just stupid. The whole "cell phone while driving" paranoia is getting ridiculous. Stupid as fuck drivers have always existed and will continue to be stupid as fuck even without cell phones. I get not texting while driving but talking on a cell phone is no more distracting than drinking something while driving or talking to the guy in the car next to you. But I'm sure it won't be long til placed like the UK will eventually try to ban food and drinks in cars, ya know, for the children.

Direct traffic a few times and you'll see what I'm talking about. The people that drive like shit with a cell phone are still going to drive like shit without one.
Only when all privileges, objects, and activities are taken away from us, will we be truly safe from ourselves. Can I get extra padding in my cell please?
 

MacLeod

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Only when all privileges, objects, and activities are taken away from us, will we be truly safe from ourselves. Can I get extra padding in my cell please?
Damn sure does seem that's where it's headed.

It's ok, we're the government. We know what's best for you. Trust us, it's for your own good.
 

Azphira

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So like Idiocracy, V for Vendetta is slowly becoming a documentary too?
 

Joust

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Things are just getting ridiculous in the UK and this one is just stupid. The whole "cell phone while driving" paranoia is getting ridiculous. Stupid as fuck drivers have always existed and will continue to be stupid as fuck even without cell phones. I get not texting while driving but talking on a cell phone is no more distracting than drinking something while driving or talking to the guy in the car next to you. But I'm sure it won't be long til placed like the UK will eventually try to ban food and drinks in cars, ya know, for the children.

Direct traffic a few times and you'll see what I'm talking about. The people that drive like shit with a cell phone are still going to drive like shit without one.
I'm reasonably sure studies have found that cellphone-distracted drivers are more faulty than even intoxicated ones. Too lazy to put the google-fu to shore up my assertion, but there it is.
 
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