Hand held cellphone use in cars now illegal

November 1st, 2009 at 8:57 am by David Farrar

The Herald has some details of the new law:

You can not answer or make phone calls with a handheld phone while driving.

Creating, sending or reading texts, email messages or video messages, while driving, is banned.

Making genuine emergency 111 calls is permitted. This includes *555 calls used to report dangerous driving.

Making or receiving calls if the phone is “secured in a mounting fixed to the vehicle” is allowed. This typically means a cradle, or fully integrated systems. But the driver can only manipulate a securely mounted phone “infrequently and briefly”.

Earphones, headsets and mouthpieces attached to phones can be used, provided the driver does not hold or manipulate the phone.

You can use music functions, provided the device is mounted.

Using a phone if stuck in traffic because the road is blocked by an accident or other cause is permitted.

This does not apply when drivers are “stationary in the normal flow of traffic, such as approaching intersections, traffic lights or roadworks”.

Using a phone while on a bike or motorbike is not allowed.

I can’t disagree with the phone on a bike rule!

The law won’t affect me as my phone bluetooths into my stereo, but I still think it will just force a lot of costs onto people, and not decrease the road toll. It will be interesting to see in 2010 how many crashes still cite cellphone use as a factor.

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63 Responses to “Hand held cellphone use in cars now illegal”

  1. tvb (4,247 comments) says:

    There are many distractions for a driver. Some dopey official cited even having a conversation on a phone is distracting and should be illegal. Next that dope will be proposing it is illegal to have a conversation with a passenger as that is distracting. Next they will be proposing banning passengers in a car as that is distracting. I think they should move to remove UNSAFE cars from the road. For instance any car that is greater than 15 years old, without WOF or registration or insurance should be sent to the crusher. Next they can move to force cars off the road which do not have airbags.

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  2. dad4justice (7,969 comments) says:

    Will the Waffic officer that pulls me up request a dope test, drink test or phone test???
    I might start flying around to avoid the sods.

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  3. ton (36 comments) says:

    I would like to know how many crashes will end up being caused by people receiving a phone call and hurriedly pulling over and parking in an unsafe position on the side of the road to take the call, and then hurriedly pulling back out into busy traffic once the call is over.

    And I would like to know how many crashes will end up being caused by people fiddling with their Bluetooth devices in order to take the calls hands free.

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  4. BlairM (2,305 comments) says:

    I do wish people would stop praising Steven Joyce’s performance as a Minister – he may get things done, but they’re all the wrong things. Frankly I’d rather have Judith Tizard back. Being a new MP and a list MP with no constituency to be accountable to, he’s also made the mistake of been completely captured by his officials. Being Sir Humphrey’s bitch does not make you a good Minister!

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  5. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    Someone posted a day or two ago about cyclists riding two abreast being fine by the road code.

    It pisses me off that cyclists only read the parts of the road code that they like, as the road code also states that a cyclist must pull over immediately if they are travelling less than the speed limit and they have cars behind them.

    So if you are travelling less than the speed limit and there are cars on the road riding two abreast is ILLEGAL unless you can somehow argue that you have pulled over to allow traffic to pass.

    I am uncomfortable about passing close to cyclists, I will not usually pass them if they are two abreast unless I go well into the other lane. I have had to wait for cyclists riding in pairs on Oriental Parade many times and had a few ‘discussions’ with them at the side of the road after. The line that really pisses me off is ‘just take 5 minutes out of your day’, the problem usually occurs on a Sunday and I happen to be working alot of the time this happens. There is usually several groups of cyclists doing it. I would like to turn up to their work on Monday along with a dozen others and take 5 minutes each out of there work day .

    If you want to have a chat with your mates, stop in a cafe, there is no need to carry on your conversation while sharing a roadway with motor vehicles that can cause you significant damage.

    Its about as rude as me driving my car at 30kph down the motorway.

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  6. Pete George (23,310 comments) says:

    I am wondering if people will learn that you don’t have to stop everything else and instantly respond to their phone.

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  7. Will de Cleene (485 comments) says:

    It’s still legal to blow on the pie while driving, right?

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  8. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    Pete,

    I wonder if you will learn that people don’t care to have the opinions of others forced upon them.

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  9. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    More communist nonsense from the National Socialist government.

    Readers should pick up a history book and find out what happened when the last National Socialist government started doing this sort of thing ;)

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

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  10. Brian (Shadowfoot) (80 comments) says:

    So wearing an earpiece (bluetooth or wired) in a car is okay, but wearing the same earpiece on a bicycle is illegal? Are we banning deaf cyclists too, or is it thought that cyclists get more distracted having a conversation?

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  11. CircusMind (24 comments) says:

    Chilling, Elijah.

    “Then they came for the cellphones, and I did not speak out—because I did not use my cellphone all that much…”

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  12. Repton (769 comments) says:

    the road code also states that a cyclist must pull over immediately if they are travelling less than the speed limit and they have cars behind them.

    Where does it say this? http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/roadcode/about-other-road-users/information-for-cyclists.html

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  13. Manolo (13,516 comments) says:

    The growing imbecility of sucessive NZ governments which believe every problem can be solved by more inane pieces of legislation encroaching our personal freedom.

    All made possible by an ignorant population, who behave in an obedient, slave-like manner. Centuries ago it was called bread and circus.

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  14. Paul Marsden (990 comments) says:

    Asian drivers are more dangerous than cell-phones and statistically, are over-represented in motor vehicle smashes (there is no such thing as an ‘accident’). Asian drivers with cell phones/txts became even deadlier weapons. The neurone function of Asian people are different to Western people when it somes to modern machinery operation (amongst other things, and including their genetic, arrogant disposition). For example, I had an acquaintance who was an Western airline flight instructor in China, who terminated his contract early. He could not deal with the psyche of Chinese airline pilots (who in a crisis situation) would simply ‘give up’ the controls and allow their craft to crash, whereas a Westerner would wrestle with the controls to the moment of impact. So with Asian driving instructors in NZ, you have the blind leading the blind. The Asian fraternity will continue to use their phones and just plead ignorance when sprung. Ban all Asian drivers, old people, passengers in cars and our accident rate will plummet. Then again, why not just go back to the horse and carriage and deaths in road smashes will be history overnight.

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  15. Matt Long (89 comments) says:

    Repton, read about it right here http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/roadcode/about-limits/speed-limits.html,

    Slow drivers

    If you are travelling slower than the speed limit and there are vehicles following you, you must:

    * keep as close to the left side of the road as possible
    * pull over as soon as it is safe to let following vehicles pass.

    Don’t speed up on straight stretches of road to prevent following vehicles from passing you.

    Cyclists are not exempt from from normal road rules.

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  16. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    Use voice mail.

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  17. Murray (8,841 comments) says:

    Well this is sure to as bloody effective as Bradfords “protection” of all New Zealand children.

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  18. Jules (37 comments) says:

    Mobiles, bikes and Humanity
    When I bought my latest mobile phone about 2 yrs ago I was persuaded to also buy a bluetooth earpiece. I used it for a few weeks but found it too distracting in the car, so I don’t use it- so that was a bad purchase, but I do bluetooth to my PDA. Anyhow, now I just pull over to answer the mobile, which is fine by me. I even pull over to change the CD.
    I don’t use the cellphone on a bike, though that is an intriguing prospect, but I do take it with me on a ride in case I have my 4th altercation with a car (not my fault). I need a louder bell – my current bell is not heard by pedestrians walking on the cycle tracks which are specifically labelled as such, and with a pedestrian path also marked. Should I get a horn – but would a horn indicate that I was a bike? Currently I just stop, and let the pedestrians amble onto their path, and we smile and say ‘hi’.
    You know, in our big city where we are mostly anonymous, personal responsibility seems to have disappeared. What has happened to us. What has happened to our humanity.
    So what if I have to slow down caught behind a cyclist until there is space to pull out- no big deal. So what if I have to wait at the pedestrian crossing for an older person/or child to finish crossing when the time allowed is not sufficient – pleased to do it. So what if my customers have to wait to talk to me, they can leave a message and I get sent a text, and ring when its safe – I don’t want their business if they cannot understand the probable reason for the delay. So what if I see a parent smack a kid in the supermarket to impress on it that its behaviour is not acceptable in that situation – I’m happy for them to use a smack for correction as the rest of the animal kingdom does.
    How about putting yourself in the other person’s position and then deciding what to do – much better philosophy.

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  19. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    Jules,

    You’re a knob.

    in case I have my 4th altercation with a car (not my fault)

    When you mix a 10kg carrying an unprotected person travelling at 20kmh, with a network designed and mainly used by motorvehicles of 1500kg travelling at 100kmh, you are going to have problems. Choosing to ride your bike on the road is your fault.

    There is a reason pedestrians have seperate network than cars (footpaths and roads), it is not appropriate for them to use the same one.

    The only reason self powered vehicles such as bikes, skateboards, and rollerblades do not have their own proper network is they have been unwilling to pay the costs of their own safety. If I had the current system in a workplace environment, OSH would not allow it.

    So what if I…So what if I…So what if my customers…So what if I…

    Yes, so what if we spend half our lives waiting for other people to organise themselves, lets all go at the speed of the slowest and dumbest amongst us. That would mean we would never have to wait for PhilU, we’d all be going the same speed.

    If I want to play on the train tracks, well the train can jolly well wait, right?

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  20. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    Let me get this straight.

    I can still use my phone in my car provided that if it rings I first put the phone into a cradle?

    So long as I answer and so long as I use the speaker I am ok?

    So the point of Steven Joyce’s law, other than to make Steven Joyce look effective and powerful, is to require me to take the additional steps of putting my phone in a cradle and press two buttons when answering rather than one?

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  21. labrator (1,846 comments) says:

    Making… …*555 calls used to report dangerous driving [is permitted].

    Seriously?

    Situation 1:
    Driver 1: *555? Yes, the car behind me is following too close.
    Driver 2: *555? Yes, the car in front of me is using his cellphone.
    Driver 1: Now he’s following too close and using his cellphone!

    Situation 2:
    Officer: Do you know why I pulled you over?
    Driver: No idea.
    Officer: You were using your cellphone, that’s illegal now.
    Driver: But I was ringing *555.
    Officer: Oh, well because you’ve dialed a magic number, that’s ok.

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  22. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    If my cellphone went while I was in the car I would probably go off the road, in shock that someone would call.

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  23. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    What a bunch of wallies you are.
    turn it off and leave it in your pocket (you’ll excite the girlfriend/boyfriend.
    or
    Put it in it’s cradle.
    Unless you’re sensible and have the car wired for handsfree already.
    simple init?
    what degree did you say you had?

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  24. Alan Wilkinson (1,848 comments) says:

    When this inanity inevitably proves to have made no detectable contribution to road casualty statistics the idiots responsible for this legislation and regulation should be forced to

    a) pay back to the taxpayer the total costs of introducing, enforcing and complying with it, and
    b) resign.

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  25. Jules (37 comments) says:

    Sonny

    “Yes, so what if we spend half our lives waiting for other people to organise themselves, lets all go at the speed of the slowest and dumbest amongst us.”

    The slowest are not the dumbest. Probably the slowest are the smartest.

    “they have been unwilling to pay the costs of their own safety…….
    There is a reason pedestrians have seperate network than cars (footpaths and roads), it is not appropriate for them to use the same one”

    Yes, and we all pay our rates, and the rates provide for footpaths, and the rates provide for cycle lanes too.
    OK lets start charging pedestrians and cyclists for providing their lanes!!!! Oooo – what a furore there would be.
    At least feet and bike tyres don’t tear up the asphalt, requiring expensive repairs.

    Our city seems to be dedicated to the metal killing machine.

    Thank goodness for CAA (Cycle action Auckland, and CAN (Cycling advocates network), making representation for cyclists.

    And, I see that the woman who ran into the x4 cyclists on the Ak waterfront has now been charged. About time too. Probably was texting on her cellphone.

    And FYI ‘knobess’ is the correct greeting.

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  26. reid (16,110 comments) says:

    “Our city seems to be dedicated to the metal killing machine.”

    Yes, it’s been that way for quite awhile now, Jules. It started around the time they repealed the law that said someone had to walk in front of the horseless carriage swinging a lantern and they weren’t allowed to go more than 7 mph.

    Unfortunately for you, cyclists are the late-comers and it’s therefore incumbent upon them to pick and carefully choose their routes and adapt their behaviour, not the other way round. Motorists must of course behave with due care and decorum at all times as well, but it’s you guys that need to adapt to us, not the other way round.

    Re: cellphones, I don’t understand why people are objecting to this law. It’s well past time it was introduced. The fact that some people are so profoundly stupid as to get so involved in a conversation that they lose control of their vehicle is the reason why we need it. This profound stupidity may not apply to any of us here today, but it apparently does happen. I’d rather have this law than be killed by an idiot.

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  27. Johnboy (15,564 comments) says:

    I sort of feel that life has passed me by again when I see this topic (sob) fuck when it was legal (sob) no bastard ever (sob sob) rang me and now (sob) even if anyone wanted to I couldn’t answer (sob sob). Fuckin National Party. I might as well just kill myself now.

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  28. Ross Nixon (612 comments) says:

    Cool! No rules yet on not using my laptop, shaving and reading the newspaper while I’m driving! ;-)
    Well actually, there *were* rules already that covered *all* distracting activities!

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  29. Viking2 (11,265 comments) says:

    Jules; not everyone pays rates. surprise surprise. Only ratepayers pay rates, the rest of you bludgers don’t contribute a dime to any rates account. Most of you bludge off the ratepayer. Pay cheap rents and pay no rates. So why don’t you pay more to use your car and your bike , indeed even the foot path? (and parks and stadiums and all the rest of free council services.)
    Rate payers should get free entry to all these places. That would be quite fair.

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  30. Brian Smaller (4,026 comments) says:

    It’s still legal to blow on the pie while driving, right?

    If you mean eating a meat pie from the garage and slurping on a drink, then I think that is legal. If you are referring to anything else, I am not sure :)

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  31. Brian Smaller (4,026 comments) says:

    The thing that gets me is that it is actually illegal, according to the new law, to even have a cell phone in your hand while driving. As far as I can see it does not even have to be switched on.

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  32. jabba (280 comments) says:

    as long as you blow on the pie, it should be ok .. safer communities together

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  33. Johnboy (15,564 comments) says:

    “The thing that gets me is that it is actually illegal, according to the new law, to even have a cell phone in your hand while driving. As far as I can see it does not even have to be switched on.”

    If only the bastards had used a broader vision in drafting the new law and banned people holding their pies in their hands from driving (switched on or not). It would have got a swag of wankers off the roads.

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  34. reid (16,110 comments) says:

    “The thing that gets me is that it is actually illegal, according to the new law, to even have a cell phone in your hand while driving. As far as I can see it does not even have to be switched on.”

    That’s an important distinction Brian. I imagine there’s a lot of people who like to pretend they’re having a cell-phone conversation.

    However pretending you’re having a hands-free conversation should be even cheaper as you don’t even need to pretend you actually have a cellphone.

    Come to think of it there’s probably an untapped market in cardboard bluetooth headsets that some enterprising fellow could really make a killing in.

    Edit: As well as some sort of shoulder-mounted pie-holding contraption allowing you to blowon, eat pies and drive safely all at the same time.

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  35. nostromo (29 comments) says:

    This reminds me of a workmate telling me how she was upset with her flatmates ‘bad driving’ while giving her a lift somewhere late at night. Enquiring a little further the driving involved doing 180Km in a souped up skyline on the River Road, while stoned…while texting.

    I suppose now he’ll use a hands free kit..thats so comforting.

    But then it could be much much worse, maybe he could be out riding a bicycle and umm, causing people to have to drive with care for a few seconds.

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  36. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    I have to agree with whoever raised concern at the cognitive function of asians

    Example:

    I was pulling out of a busy round about, and out of nowhere these 2 asians are crossing the fucken road right at the exit of the round about, not one glance at me or anywhere else, just straight out onto the road. It was so unexpected that i had to slam on my brakes, and the person behind me almost crashed into the back of me.

    There was a crossing about 5 metres down the road

    Naturally, i got angry/frustrated so i honked , and they just look at me like “what the fuck you honking at us for you moron?”

    My blood pressure went through the roof

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  37. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    The cognitive function (lack of) of cyclists is also alarming, why the fuck dont these retarded monkeys just pull over and let the cars pass?

    The other day these 2 buggers cycling are causing mayhem as everyone is trying to change lanes to leverage around them

    They are travelling in the middle of the road, not even barely attempting to keep left, and noone is goin to risk a murder/manslaughter trying to pass them whilst staying in the same lane

    They are travelling so slow that we are all pretty much idling behind them

    We come to the lights, myself and all the other motorists are so pissed off that we pull to the left, cutting off their ability to pass us on the left while we wait for the light, in the hopes that these retards will realise that they should stay behind us where they wont hold everyone up!

    What do these morons do? They ride straight up the middle and into the front of the pack again, using the few braincells they have left to pull a “what the fuck did you do that for?” face as they ride past

    The only postive thing about these morons are that they are voluntarily increasing their chances of removing themselves from the gene pool

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  38. nostromo (29 comments) says:

    Mike, sounds like you are advocating death for someone causing you a terribly minor inconvenience? Wow must be hard for you in that situation what with having to slightly rotate that steering wheel, perhaps gently press the brake then use the accelerator – all in a co-ordinated fashion too.
    Oh and the sheer concentration required to drive without being on auto-pilot must’ve been crippling!

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  39. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    Nostro, sounds like you are taking one out of the socialists “how to handle situations where our severe retardation is revealed” book

    Please engage that fat inside your head and note where i “advocate” death for these retards (cyclists) ?

    A terribly minor inconvenience is a fucken understatement and it is a true testament to the astonishing levels of naivety amongst your “people”. They are endangering lives by being such a distraction, and general nuisance to motorists

    If you had any reading comprehension at all you would see that i am complaining that these bastards had the nerve to go straight back to the front the moment they had the opportunity.

    If i was doing as you say i would be running them over deliberatley, and encouraging my peers to do the same

    I am only pointing out that i am a big fan of the Darwin effect, and i am happy to see cyclists doing their part to better humanity

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  40. nostromo (29 comments) says:

    If I recall some recent cyclist deaths. The superintendent run over by a truck driver who claimed it wasn’t his fault (now residing at her Majesties pleasure). The old drunken bat that killed the much loved teacher. The lowlife driving the beaten up old ute that killed the Doctor.

    Unless you have some better reasoning on the Darwin effect I’m not following you on that line of thinking champ. I wonder if perhaps you are of the same ilk?

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  41. Johnboy (15,564 comments) says:

    “If I recall some recent cyclist deaths.”

    Yes yes very lamentable indeed but lets be honest here, there are some cyclists whose death would not be mourned.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3012651/Police-inquiry-after-MP-Trevor-Mallard-in-road-rage-row

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  42. mike tan (433 comments) says:

    The cases you cite are not examples of the Darwin effect, as they are victims of murderers. Had the drivers been guilty of manslaughter, i might reconsider my position. (I reject the assertion that people who kill whilst drink driving commit manslaughter).

    The large majority of cyclists who hit the road without properly and thoroughly researching the rode code and implementing their knowledge into every aspect of their riding, are those who i am referring to

    I generalise because i assume that it is a large majority of cyclists

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  43. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    So if you are travelling less than the speed limit and there are cars on the road riding two abreast is ILLEGAL unless you can somehow argue that you have pulled over to allow traffic to pass.

    So a car travelling at 49km/h must move over to let one wanting to travel at 50km/h past?

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  44. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    Nostromo and Jules,

    If I recall some recent cyclist deaths. The superintendent run over by a truck driver who claimed it wasn’t his fault (now residing at her Majesties pleasure). The old drunken bat that killed the much loved teacher. The lowlife driving the beaten up old ute that killed the Doctor.

    And this is why you need to get friggin serious. Bikes and cars should not be expected to share the same roadway, as long as the foolish pretence that they can coexist exists, people are going to be dying.

    Give up on abusing and blaming motorists and get a proper network built for cyclists with decent seperation between pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. This is going to need to be paid for, perhaps by warranting bikes as having brakes that work in the wet and charging a registration.

    The next time someone opens a car door in front of you, try and understand that the expectations you have are never going to be achieved and there is a better solution if you have the will to get it done.

    Wow must be hard for you in that situation what with having to slightly rotate that steering wheel, perhaps gently press the brake then use the accelerator – all in a co-ordinated fashion too.

    I’m gonna try this at work.
    ‘You want a rail on that scaffolding? Just stay another foot further from the edge’.
    ‘Of course forklifts can go where all the workers are walking, justing slightly rotate that steering wheel and brake a little’

    It is not safe for bikes and cars (and trucks which make me piss my pants passing me on a bike) to share the same road. Get real, pay up, and get it fixed.

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  45. Sonny Blount (1,847 comments) says:

    So a car travelling at 49km/h must move over to let one wanting to travel at 50km/h past?

    Yes, I hope they bloody well do.

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  46. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    Sonny, that makes you the impatient tail-pipe enemy of most drivers, and someone to be feared by cyclists.

    Where I will agree with you is on the need for cyclists to pay their share or roading costs. I would happily submit to a registration scheme if there were tangible outcomes like dedicated cycle lanes on arterial routes, cycle traffic lights etc.

    Can see that happening though, which means that shared road users will just have to learn to get along, with the most vulnerable being afforded some extra care from the most lethal.

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  47. noodle (151 comments) says:

    If I decide I need a tradesman I often use the yellow pages, or whatever the frig it’s called now. If nobody answers or if they transfer or delay me, I move along to the next one on the page. The people I can immediately contact are the ones who get to see the job.
    At the very least, I see a big learning curve here.

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  48. reid (16,110 comments) says:

    Mike, sounds like you are advocating death for someone causing you a terribly minor inconvenience?

    Well nostromo, dunno about you, but the first thing I look to do as a motorist is to run over each and every cyclist who causes me the least bit of inconvenience. Sometimes I run over cyclists just for the hell of it, so their friends will learn to fear me and won’t try to deliberately inconvenience me next time they see my brm brm bearing down on their rear-view mirror.

    P.S. After I’ve run over a cyclist that’s caused me inconvenience, I then reverse, just to make sure.

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  49. Oswald Bastable (32 comments) says:

    I had a van suddenly pull off the road (no indicators for 3 seconds of course)

    Sure enough- taking a phone call on the Rimutaka hill.

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  50. Paul Marsden (990 comments) says:

    Brian Smaller (1978) Vote: 0 0 Says:

    November 1st, 2009 at 4:19 pm
    The thing that gets me is that it is actually illegal, according to the new law, to even have a cell phone in your hand while driving. As far as I can see it does not even have to be switched on.

    Brian, does that also apply to women with vibrators?? (More womin’ than you know!!)

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  51. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    I’m sure this has been covered, but what constitutes ‘driving’? If my vehicle is stationary (lights, traffic jam, side of the road) am I driving? If I’m moving but on private property am I driving?

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  52. labrator (1,846 comments) says:

    @getstaffed Private property isn’t covered, hence why farmers kids can and regularly do drive the ute while hay gets chucked off of the back. Stationary while at the lights is driving. I’ve even heard of a young guy have has licensed pulled while passed out drunk in the passenger seat of a stationary, non-running vehicle (although I’m not 100% sure on the source of that).

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  53. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    I wish cell phones Tazerd the idiots who passed this law, once again we have politicians demanding the police ticket and or detain people under the presumption that they might cause an accident.

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  54. V (694 comments) says:

    What about the use of mobile phones on mobility scooters, with the impending retirement of the baby boomer generation this is going to be a serious concern?

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  55. Fletch (6,142 comments) says:

    I’ve looked at a few websites, and some say that hands=free is better and some say that the reaction time even using a hands-free device is much slower -

    The danger of hands-free kits
    Most people will agree that driving after having consumed alcohol is just asking for a road accident to happen because having a drink causes reactions to be slowed significantly and judgement to be skewed. In fact, it is safe to say that most people would rate drink-drivers as one of the most high-risk motorists on the UK’s roads.

    However, shocking research from The Transport Research Laboratory has revealed that there is a class of motorist just as dangerous as drink-drivers; hands-free kit users. In the study, the research organisation ran a comparison between the reaction times in those using a hand-held or hands-free mobile and those who had been drinking alcohol.

    The results showed that those using either hand-held mobiles or hands-free kits have reaction speeds that were 30% slower than those who had been drinking alcohol, and 50% slower than the average unimpaired motorist. These kinds of reaction times mean that phone-related car accidents are still pretty much inevitable, even for hands-free kit users.

    When the driver gets so involved in the conversation they are having on their mobile, they don’t spot and indeed are not looking for early warning signs and upcoming hazards. Some researchers believe that the brain simply can’t handle all incoming information about changing surroundings at the same time as it processes a conversation.

    An expert from Sydney said the same thing in the NZ Herald yesterday –

    Professor Stevenson’s study, published in the British Medical Journal, showed the risk of having an accident while on a hands-free kit was only 5 per cent less than handheld cellphones.

    I’m not likely to answer calls while driving anyway, but I think half of the people who would buy the kits (me included, if I needed to) would be because they are techno geeks and thought it was cool :)

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  56. nostromo (29 comments) says:

    I may be wrong on this but I think texting is the biggest problem.
    A father of a child that goes to my daughters school lost his life last year when he crashed while texting (with toddler in the back seat). Was pretty gruesome, he ran into one of those nasty looking flat deck truck trays – let’s just say he was buried in a closed coffin :-(

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  57. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    DPF

    I can’t disagree with the phone on a bike rule!

    Why? If a car driver can control a vehicle with one hand, why not a cyclist? And ignoring the helmet, if he’s cruising down the motorway at 30km/h in rush hour traffic, why shouldn’t a motorcyclist be allowed to make a call? Seems like a bit of a double standard to me. Is it that you don’t trust people on two wheels? Well – I certainly don’t trust cagers. Just Friday a fellow was weaving down Dominion Rd, ice cream in one hand cellphone glued to the ear and driving with his knees. And fuckwit car drivers like that is why MY ACC premiums are going up. The vast majority of motorcyclists are aware of the dangers, scan ahead and know how to avoid accidents. It’s the oblivious idiots jabbering away on their mobile phones, eating their pies and caught up in the safety of 4 walls that are the REAL dangers on the road.

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  58. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    getstaffed:

    Can see that happening though, which means that shared road users will just have to learn to get along, with the most vulnerable being afforded some extra care from the most lethal.

    And by the same measure, when cyclists are faced with a stream of traffic overtaking them during rush hour, they should be intelligent enough not to filter through to the front to put their own vulnerable lives at risk from the same drivers for a second time.

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  59. KiwiGreg (3,212 comments) says:

    Now the government has made that illegal they can tackle the real problem – fuckwit drivers who look directly at their passengers when they are talking to them. It should be banned, why there oughta be a law!

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  60. Brian Smaller (4,026 comments) says:

    If I recall some recent cyclist deaths. The superintendent run over by a truck driver who claimed it wasn’t his fault (now residing at her Majesties pleasure).

    I can’t help but think that if the deceased had not been a top cop this case might have had different outcome. I cycle around the same roundabout that he was killed on several times a week. It is a big rounbabout. He got caught on the inside of it by a turning truck and as far as I am aware, got knocked off by the tray and he went under the back wheels. I would have thought that any cyclist with an ounce of common sense would always go on the outside of the curve when transiting a roundabout.

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  61. Fletch (6,142 comments) says:

    Now the government has made that illegal they can tackle the real problem – fuckwit drivers who look directly at their passengers when they are talking to them.

    Yeh, those people doing the ‘stare and drive’ from 2Fast 2Furious movie

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  62. DigiMonster (2 comments) says:

    If any readers of Kiwiblog are in need of a good quality blue tooth unit, feel free to contact sales@digimonster.co.nz, we offer high quality units at well under half the price of an entry level unit that you would get from Vodafone.

    If you email us today and mention this post, we will take a further $10.00 off the normal price of $39.95

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  63. ngaiz (1 comment) says:

    Just last week a cop run over a child in his 4×4 while of duty while on his mobile phone here in nz bet that dont make Campbell live

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