Illegal to use GPS on phone whilst driving…

Sounds like there are some unintended consequences to the new ‘anti-texting in cars’ law that is set to come into effect soon:

Under the new law, that would be illegal, Transport Ministry spokesman John Summers confirmed. "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.

"You can use a mobile phone held in a cradle while driving, but only to make, receive or terminate a phone call. You cannot use them in any other way, such as reading a GPS map, reading email or consulting an electronic diary."

The restriction does not apply to navigation systems that do not have a mobile phone function, he says.Mr Hertz expressed surprise at a media report that claimed the other vehicle involved in the accident had been a write-off and that its driver had suffered back injuries requiring weeks off work.

via Stuff

Before WiFi enabled phones I used to hold a map on the steering wheel and curve this way and that while I followed where the road curved. At least with a phone you can put it on a cradle (or even if you don’t have a cradle, some place you’ll be able to see it whilst keeping two hands on the wheel) and keep clicking next till you reach your destination (or in the case of a phone with GPS you can just follow it), your eyes don’t have to find the reference point on a large paper map. Since the old law of distracted driving still holds for everything else other than a mobile I’m assuming that it’s back to the wildly swerving days of the paper map…

And I also want to know whether this applies to netbooks or not (i.e. does mobile data without calling facility qualify as ‘mobile phone function’). If not it, sounds patently ridiculous that I’ll be able to legally use my netbook to Skype, MSN, & Twitter whilst driving but as soon as I pull out my iPhone for directions I’ll be breaking the law đŸ˜›

PS Those people who forked out $100 for the TomTom iPhone App are going to be mighty pissed!

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