« | Blog Home | »

Define Hands Free

As of Jan. 1, 2008, the State of California has a law on the books that one can only use an mobile phone while driving if it is hands free.
In all the articles released in the last week that I have read and the summaries of the new laws that went into effect on January 1st, no one defines what exactly hands free means, there is an assumption that one knows the legal definition of the phrase.
Does this law define hands free as you must have a “hands free” system that mounts your mobile phone on the dashboard and only works with voice commands? If so, I am screwed and will be illegal, as every time I check the NokiaUSA.com website, they do not have any hands free car accessories for the N95 by this definition. Should I ask a European friend to order a Nokia n95 hands free car set up for me on their local Nokia website, I pay them back, and then they can ship it to me?
Does the law define hands free as a bluetooth ear/headset that allows one to answer calls with a minimum of touching one’s mobile? If so, then more problems, as I have yet to meet a bluetooth earset / headset that fits me and is comfortable. If I have a problem with small hands, also have a problem with small ears.
Does the law define hands free as using the Nokia wired headset / microphone set that comes in the box with the Nokia N95? I don’t think so. Some of the early literature I read about the new law last year said that wearing wired earbuds did not count and violated a law from years ago that one can’t where headphones while driving. Yet, other sources, such as the California Highway Patrol site’s FAQ page, suggest that the idea of the law is to keep both hands on the wheel and not to be distracted while driving.
Hello, Nokia USA, please start selling useful accessories on your website for mobile devices that you are selling in the US!
Hello, Nokia! Hello, how about having one website for accessories that is not country dependent?
Let’s be honest here… I am not really a talker on my mobile phone. I have a lovely lovely camera with GPS and an internet connection that on occasion rings much to my dismay. Given the amount of time I spend in my car, if the State of California wants me to be completely hands free with voice activation for tasks, then Nokia – make my Nseries phone’s camera voice activated and let me moblog with voice activation while driving safely.
Anyone who reads this website or watches my flickrstream or has been in the car with me knows that I love to take photos whilst driving and moblog them on the spot… ;o)

2 Responses to “Define Hands Free”

  1. iamnotdrtran

    I tried taking pictures while driving last year. Couldn’t pull it off. Had to pull over and get out of the car.

  2. pat doran

    Hey Jen, The law is right on, but the start date is July 1, 2008. So, you have some time to get your solution. As far as I can tell, the law only says you can’t drive with the phone up to your ear. I bought my wife a bluetooth handsfree minikit from parrot.com that clips to the visor.