Hand held cellphone use in cars now illegal

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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