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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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  • by Walking The Walk (1003312) on Monday September 28, 2009 @04:20AM (#29563125)
    Not sure what all the fuss is about, as you will be allowed to use your mobile phone via a hands-free kit. So as long as your phone does navigation over the hands-free, it's fine to use.
    • by emj (15659)
      How are you supposed to use navigation with touch screen over hands-free? If you can't touch the phone then you shouldn't be able to touch the navigation device. Please enligthen us the article is pretty light on details.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Lots of the hands-free kits respond to voice commands. That's the point - otherwise how would you dial, answer, etc? I assume they would do the same for navigation. I'm sure there's a voice-driven navigation app for the iPhone. (If you know for sure there isn't, let me know, I'll invest in a local team to build one. Sure to be a money maker.)
        • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday September 28, 2009 @09:54AM (#29565017) Journal

          Hands-free phones should be banned as well.

          The American Automobile Association (AAA) has shown via study that the mere act of using or talking into a cellphone is a distraction & reduces response times below that of drunk drivers. People don't like to hear that, but those are the results.

          • by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot.pitabred@dyndns@org> on Monday September 28, 2009 @10:04AM (#29565137) Homepage
            Passengers should be banned, too. That increases reaction time. Hell, anything you do other than keenly staring ahead and in your mirrors reduces reaction time.

            Driving is dangerous. We already have laws that ban dangerous and distracted driving... if someone is being dangerous, pull them over. Do we not have video cameras for evidence?

            Banning everything someone might do piecemeal is asinine. Stupid people will find a way to do stupid things without explicitly breaking the law.

            BTW, those cell-phone studies were almost certainly done with people right at the legal limit for "drunk" driving. Makes you think about how stupidly low those limits are, eh? MADD is a prohibitionist organization.
            • by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Monday September 28, 2009 @10:22AM (#29565363)

              Yes, but people with passengers in the car WITH them actually recovers a bit from risk from what you would see with cell phones, as apparently passengers, during a tricky driving moment or such, know when to shut up or may even alert the driver to dangers in the road. The studies on this have already accounted for that factor.

              Dispute the facts all you want, but driving and talking on a cell phone depletes attentional resources considerably.

              • Rigged Tests (Score:4, Informative)

                by Totenglocke (1291680) on Monday September 28, 2009 @10:46AM (#29565659)

                I've read up on many (not all, so I can't say for ALL) of those tests and they all have one flaw to rig the test to show that cell phones are "bad" - they do NOT let the driver say "hang on" or put the phone down for any reason. I rarely talk on my phone while I'm driving because I have a manual and it's just too annoying. However, when I do if I get to a tricky bit of road I say "Hang on" and drop the phone in my lap or in few cases where someone cut me off and I had to hit the brakes and swerve, I simply dropped the phone and it landed wherever.

                It's not hard to shut up and / or drop the phone when you need to really concentrate on the road. The tests are going out to prove that cell phones are bad (not sure WHY they want that conclusion) and they rig them to show what they want.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by BitZtream (692029)

                  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

                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by Ma8thew (861741)
                    ABS brakes help everyone. Try braking and steering at the same time without it. And your post carries the tone of someone who believes himself to be a well above average driver. Guess what: most drivers believe themselves to be above average drivers. Our capability for self appraisal is not good.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by MozeeToby (1163751)

              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 me

          • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday September 28, 2009 @10:16AM (#29565291) Homepage Journal

            I wasn't aware of the AAA's study. More, I have problems with the AAA - they have given bad advice in the past. But, this study validates what the AAA says on the subject, with a lot more credibility:

            http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/portal/site/nhtsa/template.MAXIMIZE/menuitem.416f74e8613992381601031046108a0c/?javax.portlet.tpst=4427b997caacf504a8bdba101891ef9a_ws_MX&javax.portlet.prp_4427b997caacf504a8bdba101891ef9a_viewID=detail_view&itemID=d01bab6383f62010VgnVCM1000002c567798RCRD [dot.gov]

            Wow! It looks like I searched out one of the longest addresses on the web, huh? Try these http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32035670/ns/technology_and_science-wireless/ [msn.com]

            http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090924/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_commercial_drivers_cell_phones [yahoo.com]

            People who claim that they drive safely while using a phone probably think they also drive safely with .2% blood alcohol content.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by im_thatoneguy (819432)

              People who claim that they drive safely while using a phone probably think they also drive safely with .2% blood alcohol content.

              Or, some of us just pay a lot less attention to the person we're talking to on the phone.

              Just last week I called 911 on a guy who clearly did have a .2 BAC on the highway. And 911 instructions were "Can you please stay on the line with a state trooper?" Comparing my driving while calling in a drunk driver to a drunk driver I can say with a pretty high degree of confidence that my driving wasn't as bad as his.

      • by dunkelfalke (91624) on Monday September 28, 2009 @04:42AM (#29563223)

        As you should do it in all cases - park your car, enter the destination, wait for the route calculation, go on driving.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by AmiMoJo (196126)

          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 Jared555 (874152)

            Is this a feature that is controlled by the speed as detected by the GPS or just what has been in cars for quite some time that is tied into the car itself (detecting what gear a car is in or using existing equipment to detect speed)

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Jurily (900488)

            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.

            Being in control of your whole car is considered a good thing, even while driving. I was told people who have a driver's licence are qualified to operate a car.

            • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday September 28, 2009 @08:17AM (#29564203) Homepage

              I was told people who have a driver's licence are qualified to operate a car.

              you were lied to. People with a license simply passed a very easy and incredibly rudimentary testing. They are not skilled enough to safely drive a car, they are not educated in collision avoidance or defensive driving.

              At least here in the USA, it's that way. Honestly, around here a baked potato can get a drivers license.

              • I was told people who have a driver's licence are qualified to operate a car.

                you were lied to. People with a license simply passed a very easy and incredibly rudimentary testing. They are not skilled enough to safely drive a car, they are not educated in collision avoidance or defensive driving.

                I understand a german drivers license is expensive and incredibly comprehensive... anyone know for sure?

                At least here in the USA, it's that way. Honestly, around here a baked potato can get a drivers license.

                I live in Florida, I assure you baked potatoes can and DO purchase Drivers licenses here - especially in the St. Petersburg area.....

                • by dunkelfalke (91624) on Monday September 28, 2009 @08:41AM (#29564349)

                  I understand a german drivers license is expensive and incredibly comprehensive... anyone know for sure?

                  I do. You've got that word "incredibly" before the wrong adjective, but otherwise the description is correct.

                • by kuldan (986242) on Monday September 28, 2009 @08:46AM (#29564389)

                  I understand a german drivers license is expensive and incredibly comprehensive... anyone know for sure?

                  Yeah, I can. To get your Drivers License in Germany, you have to attend to around 15 - 20 Hours of theoretical classes, take a written test on them, have around 25 - 30 hours of guided driving until your driving instructor deems you fit for driving, and then have to take an approximately hour-long driving test (including: city driving, highway driving, interstate driving, parking, vehicle safety) with a state-provided inspector additional to your driving instructor - and if you don't pass, you have to take a few driving lessons and try again. (each try - including the mandatory lessions - comes you at around 300 - 400 $ extra).. expect to pay around $2.500 - $3.000 for your german license if you are an average learner.

        • From the article "The restriction does not apply to navigation systems that do not have a mobile phone function" So they have a problem with mobile devices according to the article.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Dan541 (1032000)

          In Australia I can use my gps while driving and it's perfectly legal but I cannot hold a phone to my ear.
          Where's the logic in that.

          • In Australia I can use my gps while driving and it's perfectly legal but I cannot hold a phone to my ear.
            Where's the logic in that.

            Do you hold the GPS to you ear?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by polar red (215081)

            but I cannot hold a phone to my ear.

            because : http://www.livescience.com/technology/050201_cell_danger.html [livescience.com] "cell phone distraction causes 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States every year, according to the journal's publisher, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society."

          • You cannot use your phone's gps [theage.com.au], the logical distintion between legal and illegal is the definition of "hand free".
          • by slim (1652) <john.hartnup@net> on Monday September 28, 2009 @06:57AM (#29563835) Homepage

            Holding a phone to your ear not only ties up a hand, but also probably means you're having a conversation.

            A sat nav, on the other hand, is designed so that you don't have to touch it once it's set up. Its voice instructions are designed so you don't usually have to even look at it. If you do have to look at it, it's designed so that a glance is sufficient.

            What's more, many people's alternative to a sat nav is to refer to a paper map while driving. That's obviously more of a distraction.

            BTW - Studies have shown that having a phone conversation is more distracting than having a conversation with a passenger. Something to do with passengers knowing when to give you space to concentrate on a road hazard. Do your own Googling.

            • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday September 28, 2009 @07:20AM (#29563933)

              A sat nav, on the other hand, is designed so that you don't have to touch it once it's set up. Its voice instructions are designed so you don't usually have to even look at it. If you do have to look at it, it's designed so that a glance is sufficient.

              What's more, many people's alternative to a sat nav is to refer to a paper map while driving.

              Not only that, but you can concentrate on the road instead of the highway signs looking where you are going, as well as not having to squint for the random road sign, or when you are close to your destination, looking at house numbers. Less miles driven due to being lost as well, as well as a lot less anxiety in a new place - I would say sat navigation makes the road safer overall.

              • by IBBoard (1128019) on Monday September 28, 2009 @08:11AM (#29564165) Homepage

                I would say sat navigation makes the road safer overall.

                Except for the idiots who a) take it too literally and ignore road signs the satnav doesn't know about (like some one-way systems that aren't on its maps, or junctions that aren't really there, or U-turns that you could take but probably shouldn't), b) just enter a destination and get lost because it isn't accurate enough or it picked the wrong one, c) decide that the best time to fiddle with the route is while still driving or d) leave all of their indicating and moving to the last minute rather than having planned ahead even vaguely.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ma8thew (861741)
        The answer is you shouldn't be using adjusting navigation devices with a touch screen whilst driving. It's an unnecessary distraction, and requires your total attention because there's no tactile feedback. If you need to adjust your GPS device, pull over, it's that simple. No need to risk your life and the lives of others.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by stonedcat (80201)

          The the same should apply for tape/cd players, mp3 players, and radios.
          Why stop at just phones and gps devices?

          • The the same should apply for tape/cd players, mp3 players, and radios.
            Why stop at just phones and gps devices?

            It doesn't even stop there. You could be fined (at least in the UK) for not having both hands on the wheel because you were eating an apple while driving [timesonline.co.uk]

            • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Monday September 28, 2009 @06:15AM (#29563607) Homepage

              Legally that's correct - you must have both hands on the wheel otherwise legally you're not in control of the car. I presume there are exceptions for changing gear..

              In this case the key phrase is "she negotiated a left turn with an apple in her right hand". She wasn't just driving - she was trying to turn with one hand on the wheel. The was then issued a fixed penalty notice for what would normally be considered a minor breach of the law - she refused that remedy, demanding a court appearence - hence the cost to defend the case.

              • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

                so is that a defense if you drive through a kindergarten?

                you know, i didn't have both hands on the wheel honest ... out of curiosity i mean...

                *shifty eyes*

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Jared555 (874152)

            One major difference between operating a radio and operating a touchscreen based GPS device is you don't necessarily have to even look at the radio to change stations, etc.

            It is much more difficult to operate a touchscreen without looking at it. Also, many newer cars have radio controls attached to the steering wheel so you don't even have to remove your hand from the wheel.

            • by Lumpy (12016)

              One major difference between operating a radio and operating a touchscreen based GPS device is you don't necessarily have to even look at the radio to change stations, etc.

              you havent see any of the new Stereos have you. JVC,Pioneer,etc.. all have incredibly crappy interfaces and are touchscreen! WOOPIE!.

              You pay $800.00 for a Car stereo that has an interface designed by a complete moron. Both JVC and Pioneer as well as Sony hire complete moron idiots for their programming and UI design. But then Delphi

              • Most people don't pay that $800, they get the radio that comes with the car and stick with it. That radio tends to be at least moderately well designed, and is almost guaranteed not to be a touchscreen.
            • One major difference between operating a radio and operating a touchscreen based GPS device is you don't necessarily have to even look at the radio to change stations, etc.

              It is much more difficult to operate a touchscreen without looking at it. Also, many newer cars have radio controls attached to the steering wheel so you don't even have to remove your hand from the wheel.

              Yes, but . . .

              The restriction does not apply to navigation systems that do not have a mobile phone function

              . . . so a touchscreen GPS is OK.

          • My in-car CD player has tactile feedback, I switch songs, adjust the volume and turn it off all the time without looking at it. And no, I don't have in-wheel controls.

            GPS is another beast entirely they often have no physical buttons aside from the power button. Then again, usually all you need to do is enter the destination, which you should probably do before you start driving.
        • I am still waiting for my heads-up-display [bmw.com] GPS unit.
      • by jonbryce (703250)

        Presumably you set the destination before you switch on the engine to start the journey? That's what I do anyway.
        The only problem then is if you want to tell it there is a roadblock ahead and find an alternative route. That's when Satnavs become really useful.

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

    by tonycheese (921278) on Monday September 28, 2009 @04:23AM (#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 RMH101 (636144) on Monday September 28, 2009 @04:41AM (#29563221)
      No, it's a dumb decison. Take the most popular smartphone - the iPhone. I have one running Tomtom Navigator, and I also have a standalone Tomtom 720. They're pretty much identical: approximately the same size screen, no hardware buttons - just touchscreen, with the same interface. Why should they be treated differently? My old WinMo handsets running Tomtom were much the same: same interface, same operation.
      • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Monday September 28, 2009 @04:50AM (#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 Ma8thew (861741)
        Here's the difference: with the iPhone you could glance at your screen, and notice you have an unread email. Some proportion of people will be tempted enough to attempt to read it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by seifried (12921)
          That's already illegal in most places, it's called driving with undue care and attention (or whatever your local phrase is).
          • by Ma8thew (861741)
            Someone always makes that argument on these discussions. The reason for a specific law is that there can be no argument over whether the person was driving while distracted. If you are using your phone, you can be prosecuted, without any defence (other than arguing you weren't actually using your phone).
        • by squizzar (1031726)
          But tether your phone to your tomtom with bluetooth and it will let you read and write text messages, so it's not really that different.
        • by jonbryce (703250)

          On my IPaq, TomTom takes up the entire screen, so I can't see the envelope in the system notification area.

      • by Angostura (703910)

        Question: If you put your iPhone into Flight Mode - is it still a mobile phone in the eyes of the law?

  • from TFA... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stimpleton (732392) on Monday September 28, 2009 @04:27AM (#29563173)
    " 2 degrees chief executive Eric Hertz admitted rear-ending another vehicle at an intersection in Auckland a few weeks ago while glancing at directions on his iPhone, which was mounted on a hands-free kit in his car. Under the new law, that would be illegal"

    If the law takes that tact then It makes me wonder how children being taken to school rates on the distract-o-meter.

    As little johnny stabs his sister with a blunt pencil, I would presume it to be less so than an iPhone on the dashboard.

    But yes, it would be political suicide to go near that hot potato.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ma8thew (861741)
      Just because kids can cause a distraction in the car, doesn't mean that other distractions can't be eliminated. Clearly, you can't ban people transporting children, and I'd wager that far more people are distracted by their phone/GPS device in the car than are distracted by their children. And children screaming in the back of the car is far less distracting than focusing all your attention on your iPhone's touchscreen. Especially when you consider kids can be made to shut up if they get too noisy (the thre
      • There is a small correlation [theage.com.au] between handling a phone correctly, and continuing to be a parent,

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MojoRilla (591502)
        I drove 8 hours yesterday with a 1.3 year old. Trust me, it is almost impossible to eliminate child distractions. If you don't have kids yourself you won't understand.

        I agree with the GP here. Sure, they can make looking at maps illegal, or texting while driving punishable like drunk driving, but they aren't addressing all the possible ways to being distracted. What about reading a paper while driving. A friend of mine got rearended by a man doing that. Or a woman putting on makeup while driving? [theinsider.com] Or a
        • they aren't addressing all the possible ways to being distracted. What about reading a paper while driving

          In fact, in most US jurisdictions, you'll find that "distracted driving" is a moving violation. If it's really severe (driving at speed while paying no attention to the road whatsoever) the cop can generally upgrade it to "reckless driving", which is a criminal offense.

    • by jamesh (87723)

      I guess it varies from person to person, but I have driven while talking on a hands free cell phone, driven while having technical discussions with coworkers, driven with a wife who loves to talk, and driven with 4 tired grumpy kids who just wouldn't leave each other alone. The grumpy kids ranks below all the other things on my distract-o-meter.

      You can easily tune out to grumpy kids stabbing each other with pointy things, and if it gets to the point that you can't tune it out then it's probably worth pullin

      • Laws here in Victoria, Australia invalidate the insurance which covers a drivers vehicle if the driver is found to be over the limit for alcohol. More than anything else this makes people think twice about drinking and driving. A similar thing could be done with phones. Police would get information on phone ownership from the networks. If a phone is found they would go back for evidence the phone was on a call, in the area of the crash, and moving at the time. If evidence is found then you own up (and lose

    • by drsmithy (35869)

      " 2 degrees chief executive Eric Hertz admitted rear-ending another vehicle at an intersection in Auckland a few weeks ago while glancing at directions on his iPhone, which was mounted on a hands-free kit in his car. Under the new law, that would be illegal"

      Well, if Mr Hertz managed to rear-end another vehicles while "glancing" at the GPS on his phone, it's highly likely that Mr Hertz was going to read-end another vehicle anyway, at some point. If a "glance" at a GPS results in you have an accident, you

    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      It makes me wonder how children being taken to school rates on the distract-o-meter.

      CERTAIN DEATH! [bbc.co.uk]

      • Thats a timely article....placing kids in the car as the first equal cause of accidents.

        I do not have kids, and this seems to invalidate my opinions especially to parents. But I have seen, with my own eyes, a driver(presumably the parent) turn around, reach back to the back seat, and take an item from the kid in the back seat.
    • This was the AA argument against this law when i was in NZ last (3 years ago). It was that yes cell phones do distract drivers, but so do stereos, children, ex girl friends, that "God she hot I can get a second peek in the Review mirror" chick on the foot path and of course map books and hot pies. mmmm pies....

      Drivers that can be easily distracted to the point of being a danger will be distracted by something. The rest of us are probably fine. And the few who think they are best drivers on the road are
  • it's getting fixed (Score:5, Informative)

    by dodocaptain (1177567) on Monday September 28, 2009 @04:46AM (#29563237) Homepage

    Slashdot is a bit behind the times - Steven Joyce, Minister of Transport in NZ has instructed officials to fix this oversight in the law.

    http://www.iphonewzealand.co.nz/2009/all/breaking-common-sense-prevails-law-is-to-be-amended/ [iphonewzealand.co.nz]

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That is an incredibly direct and rapid response, together with prompt action on their concerns... from a government. It must be glitch.

    • by retech (1228598) on Monday September 28, 2009 @05:15AM (#29563343)
      It's not technically behind. NZ is a day ahead (more or less). So it's already happened here, we're just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up. By the time you read this, it will already be tomorrow in NZ and we'll have moved onto something just as bizarre and misunderstood by lawmakers.

      BTW, the for those of you in the past the numbers were 11, 19, 27, 32, 41, 47 (39). Enjoy your new winnings!
  • by ThePeices (635180) on Monday September 28, 2009 @05:05AM (#29563305)

    As a New Zealander I cant say that I am very happy with this decision. I think that an exemption must be made for hands free kits for these phones/satnavs. The rest of the new law was banning talking on a cellphone or txting while driving a vehicle, is commendable, but common sense needs to bear with laws like these.

    This law needs amendment.

  • by t0qer (230538) on Monday September 28, 2009 @05:12AM (#29563331) Homepage Journal

    One of those new Weinersnitzel Angus beef dogs, 2 Chili Cheese Fry's burrito's, and a large mountain dew all while driving. I was struggling with the box my Angus Beef hot dog came in, and recklessly looked in my lap to figure out why I couldn't get the damn box open by touch.

    I turn into a real stupid ass when I drive. My mind started to wander and I had this gruesome image of my head wearing a glass necklace (slang term for when your head goes through the windshield) with a hotdog still stuck in my mouth. This mental image disturbed me even further when I thought that some jackass would probably take a snap with his camera phone and my mug would be all over ogrish.com or the like for eternity.

    Then I finished my hotdog, chili cheese fry burritos and washed it down with my soda, all while driving with my knees.

  • by macraig (621737) <mark DOT a DOT craig AT gmail DOT com> on Monday September 28, 2009 @06:08AM (#29563567)

    ... when you're a company that makes dedicated car navigation devices. Ain't it great when the guv'ment creates a captive audience for what you happen to be selling? All the auto insurance CEOs jizzed all over themselves the day that California mandated auto insurance but then didn't provide any. The same thing happened twice again when California also mandated helmets for motorcycles and bicycles, but then didn't provide any and didn't even use the state's collective buying power to negotiate a good deal for all the state citizens. Of course they should have done at least that much for auto insurance, too (and they kinda did, very belatedly).

    Let's see if New Zealand screws up just as bad or surprise everybody and do it right. If you're gonna require something by law - or effectively do the same thing by banning something else - you'd damned well better keep a lid on the profiteering that is sure to ensue.

  • by muckracer (1204794) on Monday September 28, 2009 @06:27AM (#29563685)

    > "The Road User Amendment Rule 2009 means drivers will not be able to look at
    > a navigation aid on a mobile phone when driving, even if it is mounted on
    > the dashboard.

    I'd go a step further and require all windows to be painted black so that
    drivers may not look at the mountains or ogle at cute women they pass...

  • So lets see if I got this correctly, they can't use phones to navigate and they can't use them to make phonecalls.

    Anyone wanna buy an island, it's located a bit outside Australia and for some reason all the people that used to live there are lost in the woods.
  • by countach (534280) on Monday September 28, 2009 @06:53AM (#29563825)

    Most of the "dedicated' GPS units on the market actually have bluetooth which technically turns them into proxy mobile phones. So aren't they really saying that almost all GPS units are now illegal?

    So you can make calls on a mobile (in a cradle) while driving, and use a GPS while driving, but you can't use a phone in a cradle as a GPS????

  • by LinuxLuver (775817) on Monday September 28, 2009 @07:32AM (#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.
  • How about steering-wheel mounted Nav system controls? We have them for radios, and they help people maintain their attention on the road when changing stations or volume. We have them for cruise control. A well-designed steering-wheel mounted Nav interface could provide tactile and voice feedback so it could be operated without looking down, or leaning forward to reach the touchscreen.

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