Press Release – New Zealand Police
New Zealand Police will be running a ten-day blitz on drivers using cellphones while driving, timed to coincide with the two year anniversary of the introduction of legislation banning mobile phone use while driving.Police blitz on drivers using cellphones
New Zealand Police will be running a ten-day blitz on drivers using cellphones while driving, timed to coincide with the two year anniversary of the introduction of legislation banning mobile phone use while driving.
Superintendent Paula Rose, National Manager Road Policing says that the campaign is timed to remind drivers of the need to remain vigilant and not to slip back into the old habit of talking or texting on cellphones while in their cars.
The latest Police figures show that the majority of drivers have changed their behaviour but more 15,000 offence notices have been issued nationwide over the last two years.
“Overall we are very satisfied that the majority of drivers have changed their behavior to comply with the law and reduce their risk on the road.
But we have still issued many more infringement notices than we would like,” she said.
In the first few months following the introduction of the new legislation Police focused on reminding drivers about the new legislation, and providing the opportunity for drivers to educate themselves about the risk involved.
Although the rules allow the use of hands-free mobile phones, Police recommended that drivers minimise the potential for distraction by switching phones off while driving, or pulling over to make or receive calls. It is only legal to use a mobile phone to make, receive or end a call when driving if:
• the driver does not have to hold or manipulate the phone to do so (i.e. phone is completely voice activated), or
• the mobile phone is securely mounted to the vehicle and the driver manipulates the phone infrequently and briefly.
The rule does not allow drivers to create, send, or read text messages under any circumstances.
“We are now two years down the track, we don’t see any excuses for people still failing to comply with this legislation,” said Superintendent Rose.
We will be taking a very firm approach and Police will be out nationwide doing their best to impress on drivers how serious we are about this issue.
Recent research by The Road Safety Trust which has monitored reported use of mobile phones while driving since September 2009, saw a drop from 34% to 16%.
This result is very pleasing but we could still do better and to those drivers still using hand held cell phones, Police urge you to stop – you are posing a road safety risk to yourself and others,” she said.
Police will also be checking to ensure all vehicle occupants are wearing safety belts.
“These are two very simple things we can all do to make our journeys safer,” she said.
We want every journey to be a safer journey for every road user.”