Court: Using Phone Maps is Distracted Driving
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.