Road safety campaigners slam new sat nav TVs

New Mio Navman devices cause concern at RoSPA

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As we reported earlier last month, sat nav firm Mio is launching a range of new sat-nav devices next month featuring integrated TV tuners for watching telly on the move.

The news has sparked concern amongst road safety campaigners at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

The new Navman Spirit TV range offers "easy-to-use, multi-channel entertainment" with the £229.99 V505 featuring a 4.7-inch widescreen, and the £299.99 V735 featuring a slightly larger 7-inch widescreen. Both models also include a 7-day EPG.

But RoSPA is mostly concerned about safe use of the Freeview television tuner fitted into the sat navs, which Mio/Navman insists is only intended to be used "during breaks in the journey or at their final destination."

Impossible to drive and view TV

When the system is first turned on a warning message is displayed, informing you not to watch TV while driving. A second warning flashes up if the TV tuner is being used while the vehicle is in motion.

"At the moment the law prevents the use of some TVs in cars, and that's because it would be completely impossible to watch TV and drive safely at the same time," Duncan Vernon, road safety manager for RoSPA, informed PC Pro.

"In an ideal world this device would switch off when driving starts, so we could say that at no point should this be on in the view of the driver. It's just distracting."

Via PC Pro