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Drivers banned from using mobile phones


14-Aug-2009

The Government has confirmed new rules for cell phone use in cars; From the 1st of November 2009 it will be against the road rules for people to talk or text on a mobile phone while driving.

Drivers caught with their hands up face being issued with an infringement notice along with an $80 fine and 20 demerit points.

It's about time we say.

Although many of us are accustomed to reply to texts as soon as we receive them, texting while driving is a particularly dangerous activity.

Hands-free cell phones and two-way radio may still be used under the new rules and there will also be an exemption for emergency 111 calls, though Transport Minister Steven Joyce advises, "I would still urge hands-free users to pull over to make or respond to calls whenever possible."

Though hands-free cell phone use is still a distraction at least it doesn't require the driver to take their eyes off the road. Will we eventually see a new range of mobile phones that offer reliable text-to-voice and voice-to-text services for hands-free texting?

There will also be new rules requiring motorcyclists to use their headlights during daylight hours - we're surprised this isn't already in the road rules. Now how about enforcing headlight use for cars during poor visibility? Kiwi drivers are shocking at not using their headlights during the day unless it's pouring down.

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