POLICE in Hampshire will be among the first to use new technology to help reduce the amount of people using their mobile phones while driving.

Working with technology company Westcotec, the Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police’s Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit will be using a new piece of technology which can detect when drivers are using their phones without using a hands free device.

The technology can detect how many cars on a particular stretch of road are using their phones without hands free.

Additionally, when someone using their phone is detected, the device will flash a mobile phone symbol at the car, advising them to stop using their mobile phone.

The technology can detect when bluetooth is being used but cannot detect if a passenger is using the phone, but the sign will still be activated reminding motorists of the distraction of a mobile phone while driving.

The detector will be posted at different locations throughout Hampshire and the Thames Valley, and officers will be stopping motorists caught using their mobile phone.

The penalty for using a mobile phone while driving is six penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200.

Your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum fine of £2,500.

Since 2014 there have been 40 people killed or seriously injured as a result of drivers using their mobile phones in Hampshire.

The police's campaign is being supported by Kate Goldsmith, who lost her daughter Aimee, aged 11, following a crash in August 2016.

Lorry driver Tomasz Kroker had been using his mobile phone to change music while driving. He ploughed into stationary traffic on the A34 near Newbury, crushing a number of cars and killing Aimee, her stepbrothers Josh Houghton, aged 11, Ethan Houghton, aged 13, and the brothers' mum, Tracey Houghton, aged 45.

Kate, who has been campaigning over the use of mobile phones by drivers, said: “I am supporting this campaign and welcome any technology which can assist in educating people and stop them from using their mobile phones whilst driving.

“Most mothers’ look forward to planning their daughter’s weddings. I had to plan Aimee’s funeral.

“My son Jake was travelling in the car behind the one that Aimee was travelling in, thankfully he was uninjured, but he literally saw the moment that killed his sister.

“Please take a minute to just think about that. Seeing your sister, brother, daughter, son or any person you love being killed.

“This was down to someone being distracted by their phone whilst driving a lethal weapon. My daughter’s death was completely avoidable.

“Please don’t use your mobile phone whilst driving it’s not worth the risk.”