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

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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]

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