Heading to the Winter Olympics? Talking and driving could cost you $160!

If you are heading to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, be sure to bring a hands-free headset.

Starting today, British Columbia police will be on the lookout for anyone using their phone without a headset of hands-free car kit. Their new hands-free law went into effect on January 1st, and the grace period for offenders ends today, just in time for thousands of visitors to visit their area.

Penalties are pricey – $167 CAD (about $160 USD). In addition to phone calls, British Columbia also bans text messaging, sending email or anything else that involves looking at the screen of your device.

Bottom line is put your phone down and pay attention to the road (good advice anywhere in the world).

Similar laws are already in place in the United States and a good overview of current states with hands-free laws can be found here.

Mobile headset maker Plantronics has put together some tips on safe driving with your phone, and later this week they’ll join Gadling in giving away some of the hottest Bluetooth headsets on the market.
Safety Tips for Hands-free Devices

Plantronics offers the following tips for keeping both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road when using your cell phone and hands-free device while driving:

  • Trial Run: Practice using your phone and headset together before you drive. Familiarize yourself with the headset controls. Adjust the fit and the microphone on your headset, check the headset settings on your cell phone and stow the phone so it’s out of your way but still accessible.
  • Be Prepared: Program all your frequently called numbers into your phone. This includes your boss, your kids’ babysitter and your favorite neighborhood pizza place. And don’t forget about speed and voice dialing; most phones have those options, so use them as much as possible.
  • Set Up for Success: Just as you check your rearview mirror and secure your seatbelt before driving, be sure to put your headset on and ensure its connected properly to your phone.
  • Driving Comes First: Remember: your first priority is driving. You should only place and receive calls when it’s absolutely necessary.

Daily deals – $49 MP3 player, $30 Bluetooth stereo headphones and more

Here are the hottest gadget deals for today, Thursday June 11th 2009. Remember, these deals are often only valid for one day, so act fast before they are gone!

Looking to cut some wires from your commute? How about these Plantronics Pulsar 260 Bluetooth stereo headphones? They are on sale at Buy.com for just $29.99 with free shipping. With the new iPhone and iPod touch software update coming next week, you’ll be able to add wireless stereo music to your player. Click here for this deal.

Today’s cheap MP3 player comes from 1dealaday who are selling the highly rated Sandisk Sansa e270 media player for $49.99. The player supports many music and video formats and comes complete with an FM radio and a voice recorder. Thanks to its MicroSD expansion slot, you can expand it way past its standard 6GB limit. Click here for this deal.

If you regularly run out of power on your mobile device, then this $20 Duracell universal USB charger may be just what you need. The device can be charged using your desktop or laptop PC, and it can add as much as 30 hours of additional playback to an iPod or other music player. Click here for this deal.

Finally in today’s lineup, is a multi-tool which is perfect for outdoors fans, or if you still need something for Fathers Day. This Leatherman Core tool and C33LX knife normally sells for $100, but is currently on sale for just $45.41, with free shipping. Click here for this deal.

Daily deal – Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth headset for $50

With just 5 shipping days left before Christmas, now is the time to slowly start thinking about making those last minute purchases. My daily deal for today is for the Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth headset.

This headset is one of just a few out there that actually looks very stylish. The headset comes in a small leather case, which even contains a battery pack for charging the headset when you are not using it.

You can pick up the Discovery 925 in gold, purple and black. Of course, the most “normal” color (black) costs $5 more than the other 2. This headset usually retails for about $90, but Amazon currently has it on sale for just $49.99 ($54.99 for the black one).

Included in the package is the headset with its leather charging case, a MicroUSB charging cable and an AC adapter. You’ll also find 2 replacement earpieces. Be sure to check the shipping schedule, and to order with the correct shipping method if you need it on time for Christmas!