The change was one of several due to come into effect on November 9.
The regulation was intended to tighten up on the use of a handheld phone. It seems there was concern that someone making an illegal phone call or SMS might try to avoid a fine or prosecution by claiming they were using the phone's navigation function.
However, using a single-function GPS device would still have been legal, as would operating an in-car audio system.
The state government has now apparently changed its mind and realised there is no real difference between using a dedicated GPS or audio system and using those functions when they are part of a phone.
According to Vic Roads' (the state road authority) web site, "The new mobile phone rules have been revised. The change now allows both the navigational (GPS) and audio/music functions of a mobile phone to be used, provided the mobile phone is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle."
Please read on to find out how Vic Roads now summarises the forthcoming rule.
Vic Roads goes on to say that:
"is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle,
can be operated by the driver without touching any part of the phone.
"Using a phone as a GPS while driving is prohibited unless it is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle.
"All other functions (including video calls, texting and emailing) are prohibited.
"Learner and P1 drivers, are prohibited from using a mobile phone at all while driving."
But be warned: it will still be illegal to hold a phone (or rest it in your lap) for any reason while driving.
At least one observer has described the revised rule change as a victory for common sense.