VicRoads has backed down on its proposal to ban the use of portable GPS devices including mobile phone applications in vehicles.
A new series of traffic rules to come into effect in Victoria on November 9 would've made it illegal to use a phone as a vehicle navigation device, whether it was in a fixed cradle or not. Drivers caught breaking the new law would've been fined $234 and lost three demerit points.
But VicRoads has since ‘clarified’ the issue, saying that using a phone as a GPS is permitted if the phone is secured in a commercially designed cradle. Making or receiving a call, and using the phone’s music/audio functions (without video) are also allowed, provided it’s secured in a commercially-designed cradle or is operated remotely. Watching videos, text messaging or playing games while driving are prohibited.
Under the new laws, drivers will not be allowed to hold their phones or rest them in their lap, even if they’re turned off.