The law should apply to all

Anna Leask in the Herald reports:

A senior officer has condemned colleagues for using their cellphones while driving, saying it is a joke to go out and enforce the law when officers appear to be readily flouting it.

I agree. I have never been a supporter of the new law, and the fact that Police are basically exempt from it makes it worse.

Another officer has been caught on camera talking on his cellphone at traffic lights. He was filmed by a motorist in West Auckland on Thursday.

“I wound down the window and started recording, I was yelling out trying to get his attention,” said the motorist, who did not want to be identified. “Then the light turned green and he casually drove off, still talking.”

If Police are in an emergency situation, then cellphone use should be okay, but this case shows quite the opposite.

The senior officer said it was unacceptable for police to be using cellphones while driving unless it was a real emergency. “I’m out there telling people off for using their phones while they drive. And yet cops are out there doing it. I am absolutely pissed off by the hypocrisy,” he said.

And shouldn’t Police cars have hand free devices anyway?

The Herald was inundated with emails from readers over the weekend who had spotted officers using their cellphones while driving.

“I actually reported a policeman in a marked police car driving on St Lukes Rd talking on the mobile phone, driving around 65km/h and changing lanes without indicating,” said one.

Another reader concerned about a female officer using her phone on the harbour bridge was disappointed with the response to his official complaint. He was quoted the relevant act.

The exemption for Police is too wide. It should be for emergencies only.

Or they could just scrap the law, and just use the general offence of driving while distracted.

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