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German Courts Rule Phone Nav Units Illegal
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:36 pm    Post subject: German Courts Rule Phone Nav Units Illegal Reply with quote

pocketgpsworld.comThis is sure to cause a stir. A German court has ruled that a navigation application running on a Smartphone cannot be used whilst driving.

Because the use of phones whilst driving is illegal, a court in Cologne has ruled that drivers using a satellite navigation system installed on a phone are infringing Section 23, Paragraph 1 of the German Highway Code.

The full text can be read here (in German) and here translated although you should be aware that Google's translator misinterprets the German for driving as 'tax' because the German for 'steering wheel' and 'tax' are the same.
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dandpclements
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would interesting to see whether this applies to smartphones that can have the phone function disabled
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dandpclements wrote:
It would interesting to see whether this applies to smartphones that can have the phone function disabled

I suspect all can, any that are modern enough to have GPS will have 'Airplane' modes but the ruling makes it clear that is is the 'use' of a phone that is illegal regardless of mode.
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prague
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if it gets as much publicity as the French requirements re Fluorescent Jackets, i.e. Next to nothing. By the time an English tourist has driven through Germany and France they will be bankrupt! Of course it will soon be adopted here as part of the cash cow for motorists, making many systems redundant. I wonder if there was a consultation period in Germany?
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do they need a consultation period? All that has happened is a case has gone to appeal and the court has ruled that the legislation 'already in force' that prohibits the use of a mobile phone whilst driving extends to all use of that phone for whatever purpose.

I suspect (although I have no direct knowledge) that this has been done to remove the possibility of a driver claiming they were not making a call etc but were simply entering addresses etc into the phone. Now the law is clear, no use full stop if you are the driver. It may not prevent the device being on and providing guidance but may outlaw any interaction, doubtless all will become clear in due course!

As to the French requirement for Hi-Vis jackets to be carried, the onus at the end of the day is on the driver to acquaint themselves with the laws of the country they will be driving in and not vice versa.

What we should be asking is why sensible safety laws such as the common requirement to carry a warning triangle, spare bulbs and now hi-vis vests has not been mandated here as well? It should be.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you try and get an official response from O2 Germany on this with respect to the HTC Diamond they are selling with the exclusive TomTom Navigator 7 software pre installed to the device, their reply might make interesting reading - Mike
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gardenshed
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:


What we should be asking is why sensible safety laws such as the common requirement to carry a warning triangle, spare bulbs and now hi-vis vests has not been mandated here as well? It should be.


going on from the very good point Dennis makes, the lane control in Europe is fantastic, hardly anyone hogging a lane holding up traffic for miles. Perhaps we need more cops less cams on our roads
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JimmyTheHand
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
What we should be asking is why sensible safety laws such as the common requirement to carry a warning triangle, spare bulbs and now hi-vis vests has not been mandated here as well? It should be.


Carrying spare bulbs may seem sensible - but only when they force manufactures to make cars where they can be changed beside the road! Last time I had blown bulb I took one look at getting at them and got the garage to do it (I like skin on my knuckles)
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a fair point. I have a front fog light that has blown and the bulb replacement is a bumper off dealer job!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can any German speaking people read the original article, and provide a better translation than Google...? I'm not sure if the court ruled that using SatNav on a mobile phone was illegal, or whether using SatNav on a *handheld* mobile phone was illegal; ie the illegal part refers to not having the phone in a holder, more than the use of SatNav software on the phone...
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tip off and correction of the Google translation came from our German born and bred US based editor. The law (now clarified by the courts) applies to the use of a phone 'whilst driving' and does not specify handheld or otherwise.
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
As to the French requirement for Hi-Vis jackets to be carried, the onus at the end of the day is on the driver to acquaint themselves with the laws of the country they will be driving in and not vice versa.

What we should be asking is why sensible safety laws such as the common requirement to carry a warning triangle, spare bulbs and now hi-vis vests has not been mandated here as well? It should be.


Hi vis vests are a good idea and they only cost 2 quid. I can't see why new cars don't include one in the boot with the spare wheel. Likewise, as JimmyTheHand says - why don't they have spare bulb kits as standard in cars?

The trouble is that when ever the EU passes a directive mandating such a thing, people (or Daily Mail readers anyway) go on about the eurocrats meddling in our business.

I think it's a great thing that they standardise stuff across Europe so we don't have to learn a bunch of esoteric rules for every new country we visit.

Darren wrote:
That's a fair point. I have a front fog light that has blown and the bulb replacement is a bumper off dealer job!


One less car on the road with fog lights - that can't be a bad thing! Thumbs Up Happy
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skippy wrote:
One less car on the road with fog lights - that can't be a bad thing! Thumbs Up Happy

V.True, I have only rarely used them and being a Merc they are reset to OFF with the lights and so can't be left in the On position but I digress!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the clarification Darren.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gardenshed wrote:
going on from the very good point Dennis makes

Eh? Exclamation Question Idea Confused
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