Programming a Sat-Nav while driving?

Anna Key 16 May 2009 26

While it has been illegal, and downright stupid, to SMS whilst driving, is there a similar law to cover the seemingly ubiquitous GPS/Sat Nav?

On a couple of occasions on Athllon Drive recently, I’ve been stuck behind someone busy fiddling with their toy, resulting in ignoring of a green light or a sudden drop in speed as they started to wander off into Mt Taylor. It seems a fairly dangerous activity, especially along the Athllon Drive crash zone. It also seems strange that is not ok to have things dangling from your mirror, but it is fine to stick a 4″ screen in the middle of your windscreen.

I don’t own one so don’t know how they are programmed, but I do think pulling over before doing so might be a better idea.

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26 Responses to Programming a Sat-Nav while driving?
Jim Jones Jim Jones 9:55 am 18 May 09

Thumper said :

I navigate by the sun during the day, and the stars at night.

I search for a car that looks like it knows where it’s going and then follow it.

Aeek Aeek 9:52 am 18 May 09

I’ve successfully used Zen Navigation on occasion.

Thumper Thumper 8:39 am 18 May 09

I navigate by the sun during the day, and the stars at night.

G-Fresh G-Fresh 12:07 am 18 May 09

GottaLoveCanberra said :

Anyone using a GPS in Canberra is lame as. There’s nowhere or way to get so lost in Canberra that you require a satellite to get you on your way again.

Use a map!


Pandy Pandy 11:10 pm 17 May 09

Maps are so gay.

sexynotsmart sexynotsmart 9:54 pm 17 May 09

I once had a Falcon that was delivered new with the mirror about a third of the way down the windscreen.

Ford must have been running “Bring Your Child to Work Day” or employed midgets in some misguided and ineffective cost-cutting measure. Because it was positioned as if someone four feet tall had been sitting in the driver’s seat.

Ah, the memories of my clutch of Falcons. Back when petrol was less than $9 per litre and everyone drove V8s.

Aeek Aeek 7:15 pm 17 May 09

pptvb said :

I love the cars with their Sat-Nav’s mounted in the middle of the windscreen.
Vision obscured much?

My rear vision mirror is really bad like that, why aren’t they banned?

GottaLoveCanberra GottaLoveCanberra 4:43 pm 17 May 09

Anyone using a GPS in Canberra is pretty lame as is. There’s no where or way to get so lost in Canberra that you require a freaking satellite to get you on your way again.

Pull over and use a bloody map.

old canberran old canberran 4:36 pm 17 May 09

Makes you wonder how we all managed to get around before all of this electronic gadgetry came into existence.

Sgt.Bungers Sgt.Bungers 8:45 am 17 May 09

Australian Road Rule 299 covers this. ARR 300 covers mobile phones.

ARR 299 bans operating a vehicle if there is a screen in view of the driver, or there is any screen in view that may distract another driver (think DVD screens mounted on the vehicle ceiling visible through the rear view mirror.)

An exception being if that screen is part of a drivers aid (such as a navigation unit), securely mounted in a commercially designed mount (No sticky taping your GPS to your steering wheel).

Interestingly enough, 299 doesn’t say anywhere that it’s illegal to program your drivers aid whilst moving.

ARR 300 bans using a mobile phone at all unless it is mounted in a secure bracket fixed to the vehicle. So it’s OK to take your eyes off the road and one hand off the wheel to press buttons on your phone, so long as you don’t have to hold your phone to do it. But… according to ARR 300 it’s OK to hold a CB Radio or other two way radio in your hand and press buttons on that whilst you’re driving.


Our Road Rules:

astrojax astrojax 8:27 am 17 May 09

street directories, anyone?

Pandy Pandy 8:23 am 17 May 09

Sat Navs are great to get a new direction because of congestion or road works or even get the latest weather updates via Bluetooth phone!!! Very easy to reprogram on the fly with only 3 or 4 taps.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 10:09 pm 16 May 09

That’s the thing Gomer. With mine, if you pulled over and devoted all your attention, it would take 20 amybe 30 seconds to log in the destination and you’re on your way – getting the right directions and not being distracted. I don’t think it’s a great idea to be fannying about with that stuff when your actually driving.

Anna Key Anna Key 10:09 pm 16 May 09

Mr Waffle said :

I’m pretty sure the only way you could get a more stereotypically bad driver is if she had her foglights on…

Or had diplomatic plates

gomer gomer 9:54 pm 16 May 09

Felix the Cat said :

pptvb said :

Might go some way to explaining why the majority of taxi drivers are so crap….

actually taxi driving records are quite good when you consider the kilometers traveled.

you have to weigh up the pros and cons of the sat-nav. you get a call on the freeway which you answer hands free of course. the person on the phone needs you to get to a place you have never been before quickly (for some reason). is it better to setup your sat-nav or drive unsure of where you are going or what turn to take?

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 8:51 pm 16 May 09

pptvb said :

I love the cars with their Sat-Nav’s mounted in the middle of the windscreen.
Vision obscured much?

I’ve always thought that too. I have a GPS but have a strip of velcro stuck to the back of it with a corresponding velcro bit stuck to the flat bit of the dash just to the left of the steering wheel so I mount the GPS on that, leaving the windscreen free to look out of.

I program the GPS in the the driveway before I leave home and it gives me spoken directions to my destination so I only have to glance occasionally at it to check on upcoming street name or similar.

pptvb said :

taxis have been fiddling with their navigation things for years,
they seem legal.

Might go some way to explaining why the majority of taxi drivers are so crap….

Mr Waffle Mr Waffle 8:39 pm 16 May 09

the government ought to make some road safety ads to address this kind of deadly dangerous behaviour.

“Drive n sat nav, you be splat’nd”?

I think the satnav in my folks Subaru locks you out from fiddling with it when you’re moving. I only ever play with mine before I leave for whatever journey that requires it, so I’m not sure if it does the same thing.

Speaking of distracted people driving, the other day I had a woman in an SUV in front of me slow down while half way across the lane when entering the big roundabout at the Woden end of Adelaide avenue. I noticed the reason she had slowed down was so she could reach over to her passenger seat and answer her mobile, crawling around the roundabout and sitting in the right hand lane the whole way up to Civic, chatting away. I’m pretty sure the only way you could get a more stereotypically bad driver is if she had her foglights on…? (and maybe indicated the wrong way on the roundabout)

bd84 bd84 5:30 pm 16 May 09

MrPC said :

Why just Sat-Nav? Just the other day I was on Hindmarsh Drive (wrong side of town for me) and I was busy studying the Gregorys to figure out where the heck I was going when I almost missed a Green light. The guy stopped behind me was fuming as I looked in the rear view mirror and waved.

You make a good point. Pretty much anything you do other than paying full attention to driving can be dangerous, but then I’m sure every driver amongst is guilty of doing such a thing. From smoking, to yelling at the kiddies misbehaving in the back and changing the radio station we take the risk. Most sat-navs have a security feature built in that pop up a warning notice if buttons start being pushed while the vehicle is moving, basically saying using it while moving is dangerous and push ok to confirm that you’re the passenger.

I can’t say I’ve encountered many slow going people because of a sat-nav, seen people distracted by the street directory (guilty of it too). The number one distraction I encounter is when the driver is having a brilliant discussion with the front seat passenger and wanders slowly over the road with the hand movements.

Steady Eddie Steady Eddie 3:20 pm 16 May 09

Athllon Drive near Mt Taylor? The main problem there is roos crossing the road.

Postalgeek Postalgeek 2:16 pm 16 May 09

obviously the monkeys need to be consenting

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