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BMW takes hands-off approach to mobiles


Bluetooth 'Hands-Free' technology is to be made standard across the BMW and MINI range in NZ

BMW Group New Zealand today announced that Bluetooth technology, which allows hands-free use of suitably-enabled mobile phones while driving, will become a standard feature on all new BMW and MINI vehicles in New Zealand.

The introduction of Bluetooth technology, at no additional cost, is aimed entirely at reducing the safety risk of drivers using hand-held mobile phones while at the wheel.

BMW Group Managing Director, Mark Gilbert, said the initiative was a local decision, intended to improve safety on New Zealand's roads and provide added value to BMW customers.

"We take the view that hand-held phones are a dangerous distraction while driving and we are therefore making hands-free technology standard in all our cars," said Gilbert.

"We firmly believe that the New Zealand Government should ban the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving. But in the absence of an outright legal ban, we are providing our drivers with the technology to ensure that their hands stay on the steering wheel and their eyes stay on the road," he said.

Gilbert says BMW places emphasis on active safety measures. He says driver behaviour is the key issue which is why the BMW Driver Training programme is available to anyone, not just BMW customers, and teaches drivers of all ages and abilities how to improve their driving skills.

Bluetooth will be standard across the MINI range from March 2009 production, and will be progressively rolled-out across the BMW range throughout the remainder of 2009.


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