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Court: Using Phone Maps is Distracted Driving – Eric Spillman Reports

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LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Drivers in California are already banned from talking or texting on cellphones, but now you could get busted for using your GPS as well.

Specifically, just looking at a map on your smartphone could get you a ticket for distracted driving.

A man in Fresno was using his smartphone navigation app to try to get around a traffic jam.

He had his phone in his hand, and the CHP gave him a $160 ticket. He contested the ticket in court and lost.

A Fresno appellate court ruled that any activity on the phone that could be distracting to the driver is a moving violation.

Basically, if the phone is in your hand, it doesn’t matter if you’re using it to make a call, text, navigate or even look at the clock — it’s all considered distracted driving.

The ruling apparently applies only to Fresno, but it does set a precedent that critics say could really expand the law.

They say that a cop could pull you over just for suspecting that you are touching a phone with your hand.

You can have a GPS device mounted in your car as long as you are not touching it, the court said.

Also interesting — holding and using a map like a Thomas Guide would be fine under the law, but if you look at it on a device, that would be illegal.

Thirty-nine states and Washington D.C. have laws against texting while driving.

Last week, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration released a survey that found many drivers still use electronic devices, even though they know it’s dangerous.

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