Like peeing on the golf course, we’ve all done it but most people won’t admit to it.
Talking on the phone while driving.
As of Monday, the game has changed. As of then, Ontario’s friendly local constables will be able to smack you with a fine of up to $500 for using a hand held device. Of course this applies to more than just phones. Any hand held distraction that is not on the list will score you more than a slap on the pee pee. Basically, that means no more talking on the phone, texting, responding to (or reading) e-mails or setting that gps unit honey bought for your birthday.
So what are the exceptions? From the MTO website:
A cell phone with an earpiece or headset using voice dialling, or plugged into the vehicle’s sound system.
A global positioning system (GPS) device that is properly secured to the dashboard or another accessible place in the vehicle.
A portable audio player that has been plugged into the vehicle’s sound system.
Some wireless devices require that users push a button to activate and/or deactivate the device’s “hands-free” function. This activity is permitted under the law.
In other words, you can still use your phone but you must use a bluetooth headset or the bluetooth connectivity of your car. You can still use your iPod, but it must be connected to the vehicle with a wire. So much for those cars with bluetooth audio capability. You may also use your gps just so long as it is properly mounted. I know that most people just toss them on the console because they fall off the windshield. No more. Oh yes, you are allowed to press a button to activate your hands free function!
I suspect that I am like many people in that I know absolutely nothing about wireless bluetooth headsets. Ok, so I get the technology, I just don’t have a clue what to look for. I thought this was a prime opportunity for a newbie like me to see what is on the market a report back to the readers. Earlier this week I began scouring the retail web sites looking to see who makes these things and then started firing out e-mails. To my surprise, the electronics PR folks move like lightning to get my info and send me test units. Why was I surprised? Well, lets just say that many automotive PR folks just don’t respond as quickly.
Our first tester arrived today, a Plantronics Voyager Pro. It looks pretty cool, I’ll figuring it out tomorrow and let you know how it goes. I’ve heard that the hardest part of using one of these things is the setup, so we’ll see if I can make it work. We also have testers on the way from Sony Ericsson, Jabra, Blueant and Motorola. A unit from LG is in the works and we are on a waiting list for the cool sounding iLane.
If there are any other manufacturers whose devices you would recommend I have a look at, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.