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Law Only Prohibited Talking on Phone, Not Looking at Map
Many strict laws in recent years meant to reduce distracted driving caused by cell phones have been passed in states, California included. The L.A. Times reported that the state argued the law, which prohibits “using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking,” makes any “hands-on” use of a phone illegal. Judges disagreed, stating that such a broad interpretation of the law would lead to “absurd results.” California court of appeals has ruled that it is not illegal to use mapping software while driving. “Then it would be a statutory violation for a driver to merely look at the telephone’s display,” Judges wrote in the 18-page opinion. “It would also be a violation to hold the telephone in one’s hand…and look at the time or even merely move it for use as a paperweight.”
The district court of appeals points out the law only prohibits “listening and talking” on a phone while driving. The case results from a ticket issued to a driver, Steven Spriggs of Fresno back in 2012. Steven Spriggs was ticketed $165 for using maps on his phone while behind the wheel. Judges on the appellate court have reversed the lower court’s decision. Some states have taken action with laws that ban texting while driving, while other states have gone beyond that to also prohibit using your handheld cell phone, texting or not, while driving.
Image Credit: www.crime.latimes.comLaw Only Prohibited Talking on Phone, Not Looking at Map by Jaan