The Herald reports:
Road safety campaigners are calling for a ban on the use of wearable technology, including smartwatches, by drivers.
Smartwatches from high-tech giants Samsung, Sony, Motorola and LG – which can be used for calls, texts and calendar notifications – are for sale in New Zealand. Apple is releasing its Apple Watch here later this year.
Laws banning drivers’ use of phones – with an $80 fine and 20 demerit points – do not cover the use of wearable technology.
Caroline Perry, of road safety charity Brake, said the law should be widened, stating motorists using smart technology on their watches while driving should face the same sanctions.
“A second’s inattention at the wheel can result in tragedy,” she said.
Yes it can.
And that second can be looking at the time on a normal watch.
It can be having a drink of water.
It can be checking your makeup in the rear view mirror.
It can be tuning the radio.
So stop advocating for things to be banned while driving, and focus on a general law about distractions.
A New Zealand Police spokesman confirmed the use of wearable technology was not captured by current mobile phone laws.
There were no plans to alter legislation to include the new gadgets, but motorists could potentially be charged with careless driving if they were distracted by using a smartwatch.