Feeds

New Oz road rules forbid touching mobes

Can we cash in on the hands free rules, Siri?

Boost IT visibility and business value

Motorists in Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, will not be permitted to even touch their mobile phones while their car engine is running, under new laws to take effect on November 1st.

Outlined in this document (PDF), the new road rules state that “While a vehicle is moving or stationary (but not parked), a driver may only use a mobile phone to make or receive a call or use the audio playing function … if the mobile phone is secured in a fixed mounting."

For phones outside a mounting, “use of the mobile phone must not require a driver to touch or manipulate the phone in any way.”

Such manipulation does not include voice-activated features, but the law also means “All other functions including texting, video messaging, online chatting, reading preview messages and emailing are prohibited."

The new laws also make it an offence for drivers to even hold their phones, “other than to pass the phone to a passenger.”

Those sitting behind the wheel of parked cars with the engine off aren't effected by the new law, but touching a phone while stuck in a traffic jam with the engine on (a very, very common occurrence in Sydney) will set drivers up for a AUD$298 fine and accrual of three demerit points. Drivers with 13 or more demerit points have their licences suspended.

The new rules are probably good news for manufacturers of phone mountings and handsets with voice recognition features.

Centre for Road Safety General Manager Marg Prendergast has suggested such phones as a better alternative, but also warned any use of a handset on the road increases the chances of an accident. He therefore urged NSW motorists with hands-free phones to make only short calls.

Vulture South Sales Director Sam Howell observed your correspondent penning this story, inquired about its content, then swiftly described the laws as “insanity”.

“That half my productivity out the window,” he said. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.