Gratuitous pic? Well, yes. (image:

Gratuitous pic? Well, yes.

NZ lawmakers, after much delay and prevarication, and following leads from Australia, the US and others, have instituted a law banning the use of a hand-held cellphone (by the driver) while driving. From 1 November, it’s illegal to use a mobile phone for calls, text or email/web … even while stopped at traffic lights.* See story in comments about LA traffic jams — a new wrinkle on dead time in gridlock.

[*Which reminds me of the days when traffic officers administered an “oral” test as part of driver licensing. When asked, “What do you do at a red light?” the hopeful applicant said, “Not much, you know, look around, check what’s on the radio, have a scratch.” … When the required answer was: “Stop until the light turns green.”]

Anyway, one oddball part of the new law is, according to Chris Keall writing in a recent National Business Review ( ‘Printout’ column, this:

Using the GPS mapping function of your iPhone or other cellphone will become a no-no but, illogically, keeping your eyes glued to a dedicated GPS system, without any phone functionality, will remain legal.

Sort of like banning a pocket knife because some of them have a corkscrew, it seems to me.

Afterall, the car is just when I usually use the maps/GPS function of my iPhone. Doh!