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> New Mobile Phone Use Laws NSW
post Nov 6 2012, 10:28 AM
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New road rules that went into effect 1st Nov in NSW put restrictions on the way drivers can use their mobile phones in the car.

While the car is moving or stationary (not parked), any functions other than making/receiving calls, playing music or using it as a driver’s aid (such as a GPS) are prohibited. This includes texting, reading preview messages, emailing, Facebooking and using the phone’s camera.

Further, those functions are only allowed if the phone is secured in a fixed mount or the phone isn’t touched or manipulated in any way.

The penalty for breaching the new rules is three demerit points (four in a school zone) and a $298 fine ($397 in a school zone).

If you don’t have a phone mount or Bluetooth hands-free/speaker, there are lots of options. You’re especially spoilt for choice if you have an iPhone 4S or one of the earlier models.

Belkin’s TuneBase FM with Hands-Free is one of the better iPhone car docks, as it comes with pretty much everything you need for in-car use: a charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter, an FM wireless transmitter and headphone jack (either of which can be used for piping the iPhone’s audio through your car speakers), a USB port for charging a second device, and a cradle that can be switched between portrait and landscape orientations.

Most other smartphone brands, such as Samsung, Motorola, and HTC, offer car docks that are matched to specific models. Otherwise, you can opt for a generic car mount.

Samsung has a Smartphone Vehicle Dock that can fit handsets with screens up to 5.3”. It uses a suction cup to connect to the car windshield or dashboard, and the dock and can be moved around to sit in any orientation. However, it doesn’t come with a charger, so you’ll need to source this yourself.

Gecko, an Australian brand, has a ‘Go Solo’ in-car charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter – the only extra thing you’ll need to supply is your phone’s cable to plug into the charger’s USB port.

If you don’t want to stick your smartphone in a car mount, your other option for in-car use is a Bluetooth headset or speaker. The Plantronics Savor M1100 stands out for its extensive range of voice commands, many of which let you get around the new road rules. You can answer calls by saying “Answer” or “Ignore”, and using the bundled one-year Vocalyst service, you can even update your Facebook status, check emails and look up the latest news and weather using you a dial-up voice service.

The Jabra Freeway speaker also enables hands-free communication. The voice control functionality lets you make, receive, redial and reject calls using verbal commands, and it’s one of the few Bluetooth speakers that lets you have two smartphones connected simultaneously, making it ideal for use in the family car.

NRMA have posted this on their blog....
From 1st November, 2012 the road rule changes are as follows*:

No holding your mobile phone in the car: The laws make it clear that a driver in a moving or stationary vehicle (unless parked) MUST NOT HOLD a phone in their hand other than to pass the phone to a passenger. A driver can only use a mobile phone to make or receive a phone call, while driving if the phone:
(1) is secured in a mounting fixed to the vehicle, or
(2) can be operated by the driver without touching any part of the phone, for example through the use of Bluetooth technology and is not resting on any part of the driver’s body.

Any visual display unit must be fixed in the car: A visual display unit such as a GPS (including a mobile phone), may only be used in the car if it is secured in a commercially designed and manufactured fixed mounting. It must be positioned in the vehicle to not distract or obscure the driver’s view.

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