Map on CellphoneCalifornia Appeals Court Makes Interesting Ruling About Looking at Maps on Cellphones While Driving

I'm quite aware of the harsh laws against texting and driving in California. However, I've always wondered if I would be penalized for looking at a map on my cellphone while driving as well.  In my opinion, checking your phone while driving is very dangerous, regardless of whether you are checking a text message or reading a map.  If one of these acts is forbidden, shouldn’t the other be forbidden as well?  Well, not according to a California appeals court.

Fresno Man Challenges His Fine for Using a Map on His Cellphone While Driving

In early 2012, a Fresno man named Steven Spriggs was given a ticket for “looking at a map on his iPhone 4 while stuck in traffic.”  He was fined $165 for checking his phone.  Spriggs was not happy with this ticket and challenged his conviction with California’s 5th District Court of Appeals.

Appellate Court Says It Is Legal to Look at a Map on Cellphone While Driving

Lucky for Spriggs, the appellate court reversed his conviction on Thursday.  The judges hearing his challenge agreed that it was legal to look at a map on his cellphone while behind the wheel.  According to fox news, “the judges say that the law prohibiting people from talking on their cellphones without a hands-free device doesn't apply to looking at maps on cellphones.”

California’s Cellphone Restriction Laws

On July 1, 2008, a California law restricting using handheld cellphones while driving took effect.  The law applies to drivers of cars and prohibits all drivers from using a handheld cellphone while operating a motor vehicle. On January 1, 2009, California also enforced another law that prohibited texting while driving.

What are your thought?

Click to learn more about traffic violations.