Hey Canada, get those hands back on the wheel!

by Guest on February 1, 2010

big blue tooth smileToday is the day that it becomes a bit more expensive to get caught talking on the phone while driving in Ontario, BC, and PEI. There’s a fair bit of controversy over the efficacy of this type of ban, with some suggesting that the studies don’t indicate this will prevent accidents at all. Regardless of which camp you’re in , the grace period is over, so if you have to take that call either pull over or be prepared to pay some hefty fines.  Depending on your province, here’s what you might be facing:

– BC – possibility of a $167 ticket, at the officers discretion
– PEI – fines ranging from $250 to $400
– Ontario – fines of up to $500

So, just in case there are a few of you out there like me, masters of procrastination, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the available hands-free options.  Jeff wrote about his bluetooth challenges a while back, but with the grace period over – I thought the loyal readers of thetelecomblog might be interested in a quick look at some of the legal hands-free options.

It’s much cheaper to pick up a decent hands free device than it is to get one ticket, and unlike my wife, I’m not able to flirt my way out of a ticket (my favourite response that she got for driving a bit fast – “Well, you did slow down when you saw me…..” ?!)  So I stumbled over to my local Best Buy to see what they had to offer.  My requirements were pretty relaxed, it had to work with my first gen iPhone, and it had to be easy enough for my wife to work it.

I tested out the BlueAnt Supertooth 3 speakerphone ($150), the Plantronics Explorer 360 ($30) and the Motorola H620 ($80)

Because I’m cheap, I started with the Plantronics.  It paired fairly quickly with my iPhone, and a couple of quick test calls home were crisp and clear.  For $30, it seemed decent, but I was a bit leery due to some reviews that said the volume controls just weren’t adequate.

The Motorola was next, it had a good weight and a nice fit.  The specs on it looked pretty good, especially the LED battery level indicator.  The dashboard mount was a nice feature, too.

I wanted to try the BlueAnt because, well, I hate when you see someone walking around with their bluetooth stuck to their ear.  Especially when they’re talking – because I will usually start answering until I realize they aren’t talking to me.  So the idea of a visor mount device was pretty appealing.

The BlueAnt had 15 hours of talktime, and 800 hours of standby.  It had more than 1 button, and I didn’t have to worry about it hanging on my ear.  The only problem – the display model wouldn’t pair with my iPhone.  So if anyone has had any luck with this speaker and a 2G iPhone, please let me know what you think of it.

In the end, I took the Plantronics.  I will play with it this week to make sure it works well for my needs, but I’m probably going to be back to try the BlueAnt in the near future.

So, after leaving Best Buy with my new purchase, I had to chuckle when I noticed the guy in the next car shaving while he was driving.  Regardless of the laws, people will continue to do stupid things.

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Written by: Jason Finnerty. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Identi.ca, or Friendfeed

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Don't get caught talking on your phone while driving … | Iphone Blog
February 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm

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