New Zealand making drivers with cellphone navigation criminals, hugs ok for now (updated)

Starting in November, use of your cellphone's GPS navigation capabilities will be illegal for drivers on New Zealand roadways -- dedicated SatNav devices without voice capability are still ok. In fact, use of your modern cellphone as an in-vehicle MP3 player, compass, etc. will all be illegal under Road User Amendment Rule 2009. Here's how it reads currently:

"A driver must not, while driving a vehicle, create, send, or read a text message on a mobile phone or make, receive, or terminate a telephone call on a mobile phone or use a mobile phone in any other way."

A law this broad would also make your car's integrated cellphone entertainment system illegal. There are exceptions of course, one of which allows drivers to use a mobile phone to make, receive, or terminate a telephone call if the phone is mounted in the vehicle and the driver "manipulates the phone infrequently and briefly," even though studies have already concluded that hands-free solutions are still distracting and thus, dangerous. Yeah, the whole thing sounds arbitrary, over-reaching, and completely unenforceable to us as well.

Update: Put down the pitchforks and torches, it looks like the law is already en route for amendment to allow cellphone "satellite navigation or music functions."

[Via Stuff, image courtesy of joannapapa5100]