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For New Zealanders, No More Phones As Sat-Nav Devices 364

Posted by timothy
from the fine-distinctions dept.
rixth writes "From the 1st of November, it will be illegal to use cell phones while driving in New Zealand. Today, the Government clarified that you can't use your mobile phone as a navigational device, even if it is mounted on the dash board."
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For New Zealanders, No More Phones as Sat-Nav Devices

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  • Bad decision? Is it? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tonycheese (921278) on Monday September 28, 2009 @03:23AM (#29563149)
    At first glance I thought this was a terrible decision. Clearly, the government just rushed a response to whether it would be illegal to use cell phones as navigational devices. But actually, it might make sense. The article says you can still use your phone to make phone calls, just nothing else. It gave an example of someone rear-ending another car while using a cell phone in a cradle as a navigational device. A cell phone usually would have a much smaller screen than a regular GPS device, since it is designed as a cell phone and not as a GPS system. This might lead to longer times spent glancing at the screen and higher chances of accidents happening.
  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Monday September 28, 2009 @03:50AM (#29563251) Homepage Journal

    A similar law is on the way in Victoria, Australia. I believe the reasoning is that they want to totally ban people hand operating phones while driving. Using the phone as a GPS gives drivers a way around the law. The Government is trying to close this loophole.

  • by seifried (12921) on Monday September 28, 2009 @04:13AM (#29563339) Homepage
    That's already illegal in most places, it's called driving with undue care and attention (or whatever your local phrase is).
  • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Monday September 28, 2009 @04:42AM (#29563455) Homepage

    Most sat navs now have a feature that disables the interface if the car is moving. A quick Google search will turn up many forum posts describing how to disable this feature, on the grounds that it prevents a passenger from operating it too.

  • by LinuxLuver (775817) on Monday September 28, 2009 @06:32AM (#29563961)
    This interpretation of the new law is probably intended to protect the Navman GPS devices designed and (formerly) made in New Zealand. Senior government Minister, Murray McCully, is the MP for the electorate where navman is located (East Coast Bays). Other government ministers (Dr. Wayne Mapp - North Shore and Jonathan Coleman - Northcote) are also from the same area. The Prime Minister, John Key, is MP for Helensville.....right next door to East Coast Bays. Yes, this law is dumb.....But the current government knows few limits to dumb when the public interest gets in the way of filling the pockets of their cronies and donors: 1. gutting rail to favour the trucking lobby. 2. Hobbling commuter train growth to favour the bus operators. 3. Delaying the ETS application to their farmer base.....forcing all OTHER taxpayers to subsidise their national Party voting farmers. I could go on all day. This government is a crony feeding frenzy.
  • Re:from TFA... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) on Monday September 28, 2009 @07:05AM (#29564125)
    Because my quality of life is seriously impeded by the inability to use a cell phone while driving, *without* a hands free set. Oh the humanity.

    Next thing you know they will impose speed limits, minimum mechanical requirements for cars and, God save us all from the freedom hating governments, require drivers are certified to drive by passing a standardized test.

    Sometimes you "freedom" people come across as real dicks.
  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Monday September 28, 2009 @09:40AM (#29565593)

    Passengers should be banned, too. That increases reaction time.

    Except, you know, for the fact that they don't. At least, not nearly as badly. Realistically, there needs to be a limit on what is and what isn't considered distracted driving. We already have one threashold based on BAC. Why look at the quality of people's driving at and above that level, and say any behaviors that reduce your driving ability as much or more than that are illegal. As numerous studies have pointed out, talking on a phone meets that requirement. Listening to the radio or talking to a passenger does not.

  • Re:Rigged Tests (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BitZtream (692029) on Monday September 28, 2009 @01:19PM (#29569201)

    I do what you do pretty much, however ... most people are too slow to do that. Cell phones won't change that fact, but to exaggerate the problem.

    The problem is simply slow reaction times. As previously stated, talking on the phone IS a diversion of mental resources. If you're already barely capable of driving without getting yourself and someone else killed than a cell phone could easily be the bit that puts you over the edge in a bad situation.

    Of course, its those same people that need anti-lock brakes because they don't react to a skid and let off the brakes, and day time running lights on other cars to know that the car on the road is in fact moving.

    You and I may be able to handle most of these situations, but the fact that any moron can get a drivers license in America without really being a competent driver means that we have to place some general restrictions to ensure everyone is safer.

    I'm all for banning cell phones while driving, its not like you can tell when I'm talking via hands free, which having just switched to a manual transmission a few years ago, is almost a must if you drive in traffic. Too much of a pain in the butt to shift and talk with a phone too your ear, look to change lanes and all that, just switch on hands free and you're basically the same as having a passenger in the car.

    Of course, I have no problem ignoring the person on the phone when the situation requires more of my attention, just like what happens when you have someone in the car with you.

    These studies are generally bogus, but as most IT people know, occasionally you have to flat out lie about the way things work/happen because otherwise the morons your dealing with will screw it up when they think they know better than you do.

    Example: 'Is there any way to make one user not be bound by the required password change rules?' of course you say 'No' as there is no reason to exempt anyone, regardless of how lazy/bitchy they are.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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