Thursday, October 22, 2009

In-Car Mobile Use Ban Soon

Not long now until New Zealand finally joins the ranks of Sensible Motoring countries: from 1st.November, it'll be illegal for drivers to talk, or send text messages, on handheld mobile phones while driving. And about bloody time too!
Surely text-driving is a no-brainer...? Hmmm, maybe not: between 2003-2008, there were 25 fatal crashes and 482 injury crashes in NZ where a cellphone/mobile device was a factor. Drivers using handheld mobiles face an $80 fine and 20 demerit points: 'tis a start but methinx not tough enough... Yes, it's a no-brainer...but she IS a blonde!
There's an exemption for emergency 111 calls, and also hands-free devices and two-way radio as many businesses depend on them for work.
One can only speculate as to why it's taken so long for this law change to come about e.g.: UK's had a similar law since 2003. But, given that the youth generation has grown up with mobiles surgically implanted in their skulls and seem unable to communicate or exist without them, I don't hold high hopes of a vast or immediate improvement in the situation.
As a vaguely-associated aside, I spotted this headline recently:
"Mobile phones to be banned in French primary schools." Mobile phones...for primary kids??? Don't even start me on this one!
PS: 26 Jan.2011 - Five deaths and 182 crashes during 2010 in NZ have been linked to drivers using cellphones.
PS: 07 June 2012 - A NZ study is investigating if children using mobiles regularly are at high risk of cancers, due to their softer skulls...

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