Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ban on use of phone GPS navigation in cars

The story of mobile phones turning into fully featured GPS navigation devices is taking an unexpected twist. It appears that some authorities in Australia are planning to ban the use of such devices in cars – based on a simple principle that these are still “only” mobile phones and as such cannot be used legally “while driving”. The Age reported on Monday that the Victorian Government road traffic authority VicRoads will introduce a new amendment to the road rules, taking effect November 9.

However, the ban will not apply if your GPS navigation enabled phone is placed in purpose-made cradles and operation is entirely hands-free. But be aware, it will not get you off the hook if you are a Learner or P-plate driver! In Victoria Learner and P1 drivers, are not permitted to use a mobile phone at all while driving.

Cheap navigation option …
[image courtesy of http://xkcd.com/ as first spotted on http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.com]

If you have already bought your Tom Tom, Navigon or similar application for mobile phone you will need to budget a bit extra for a proper holder. The law in other States is unclear at this stage however, prevailing attitude is that "…if it's a phone, it's a phone". So, you can be fined for holding it on your lap or in your hand while driving. Since hands-free use of phones is permitted in Australia, invest in adequate accessories to take full advantage of GPS navigation capabilities of your mobile phone and of course to be on the safe side regarding laws governing use of mobile phones in cars. Suddenly the price gap between mobile phone enabled navigation applications and purpose built GPS navigation devices got smaller…

1 comment:

Arek said...

Update: Vicroads backdowns on mobilie GPS ban:

http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/vicroads-backdown-on-mobile-gps-ban-20091019-h4d0.html