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Why you need to install a HANDS FREE device in your car

The formation of Malta’s new Road Safety Council this year, together with the initiative set out in the Transport Ministry’s, Road Safety Strategy,is aimed at clamping down on the use of mobile phones while at the wheel.  The offence itself has seen the fine doubled to €100 euros, with reports by media of some 2,000 drivers a month being fined; and I have actually witnessed some of these fines being doled out by the police in the morning rush hour.

With what seems to be an intrinsic impulse to use our mobile phones from the moment the morning alarm goes off, to the time our heads hit the pillow at night, they have become tantamount to an appendage we simply cannot do without.

Like most people in Malta travelling to and from work by car and spending lengthy periods of time in traffic queues, it made complete sense for me to invest in a mobile hands free kit to make those calls I would normally make from my desk were I not stuck in a jam.

Fully integrated mobile phone kits that come as an optional extra from some car manufacturers can cost a few thousand euros.  This normally means installation of a new central piece to the steering column and a complete wiring loom interwoven into the electrical system of the vehicle, labour charges and VAT. It all adds up to an expensive upgrade to your motor vehicle.

Having dismissed a very expensive hands free system from my local car dealer, I opted for a phone kit from Astral Enterprises.

The guys at Astral talked me through the products and the options available to suit my requirements.  I paid a fraction of the price I would have paid for a manufacturers fully integrated system and still got hardware, installation and at the end of it, a top notch Bluetooth system neatly wired into the electronics and speaker system of my car.  There is plenty of choice available to suit all budgets, your needs and the Astral team are brilliant at helping you choose the right option for you.

The device I chose was the BURY cc9058.  This gave me a small unobtrusive unit on the dashboard and a tiny microphone lodged in the overhead lighting system, all of which is smartly and carefully integrated into the car’s interior.

This particular system allows me to have two smart phones linked at the same time and uses the voice activation / cancellation function you would find with most of today’s intelligent phone devices. Alternatively, the dashboard display comes with a touch screen function for accepting and cancelling incoming calls.

The positioning of the display on the dashboard in sight of the driver makes this action quick and easy using the touch screen icons, eliminating any need to pick up and fiddle with your phone.  The system also comes with a convenient single phone charger lead, which is integrated into the car system.  The actual display is wired into the electrical system of the vehicle taking power directly from the car and eliminating the need for batteries, which always die on you when you need to make that important call.

The Astral team were great, attentive and professional and had the whole thing done in just over a couple of hours.  The length of time taken to fit the device is dependent on the type and make of vehicle and the type of device you chose.

The system is working really well with great clarity of sound and mic reception and will also pick up conversations from the passenger side. Playing music from your phone through your Bluetooth connection is available, fading to nothing when your calls come in and fade back up when you’re finished.

A sound investment certainly and provides me with a productive journey to and from work and keeps the road safe for me and other road users.

View Astral’s Partner Profile here and contact the team in San Gwann to enquire about the different options available to get you driving safely.

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