Both digital radio devices and GPS Navigation that are attached to a window in a motor vehicle could be banned for safety reasons with several Federal and State Government bodies now investigating their use.
The NSW-based National Roads and Motorists Association is seeking member opinion on whether there should be stricter laws on GPS use while driving. But it’s more concerned about whether fixing a GPS navigation unit to a windscreen obstructs a driver’s view than whether use of the device may distract the driver’s attention.
The NRMA says there is no specific provision under the NSW Road Rules which prohibits fixing a GPS unit to a vehicle, though Road Rule 297 (2) states:
“A driver must not drive a motor vehicle unless the driver has a clear view of the road, and traffic, ahead, behind and to the side of the driver.”
Another rule permits a visual display unit if it is, or is part of, a driver’s aid. A “driver’s aid” is defined as navigational or intelligent highway and vehicle system equipment, which the NRMA says could be a GPS..
“Therefore, should a driver’s aid, such as a GPS unit fitted on the vehicle, deprive the driver of a clear view of the road and traffic ahead, behind and to each side of the vehicle, the driver may be fined or prosecuted,” the association concludes.
It is inviting members to say if they have found GPS restricting their vision, and their opinion on whether the units are safe to operate while driving or whether there should be there be stricter laws governing their use.
The Association is also set to investigate digital radio devices that scrol text to a small screen.