In an effort to reduce road deaths caused by people using their cell phones while driving, Portugal is looking into the option of blocking cell reception on roads.

The country's secretary of state for Civil Protection José Artur Neves told the national news agency it has been studying the possibility along with mobile network providers.

The idea is that decreasing or blocking mobile signal near roads.

If the plan goes ahead, calls made to people who are driving are automatically re-routed to a service that lets the caller know that person can't be reached.


A study in the country found cell phones to be responsible for a large percentage of road incidents and hands-free kits have not solved the "distraction component" associated with talking on the phone while driving.

The idea is not new and has long been on experts' radars as they try to curb people's cell phone use while driving.

In 2012, an article in New Atlas talked about work by Indian researchers to block a driver's cell phone while allowing passengers in the same car to still use their own phones.