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Using Handheld Phone GPS While Driving Is Legal In California 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-just-wait-for-somebody-to-make-a-GPS-bejeweled-mashup dept.
jfruh writes "Steven R. Spriggs was ticketed and fined $165 for violating California's law on cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle, which states that you can only use a phone while driving if you have a hands-free device. But he appealed the judgement, arguing that the law only applied to actually talking on the phone, whereas he had been caught checking his GPS app. Now an appeals court has agreed with him. The law in question was enacted in 2006, before the smartphone boom."
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Using Handheld Phone GPS While Driving Is Legal In California

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  • by StatureOfLiberty (1333335) on Friday February 28, 2014 @12:15PM (#46367963)

    Looking at the screen and interacting with it is obviously safer than holding the phone to your ear and talking to someone. Don't be an idiot. You're operating a two ton machine at speed. Keep your eyes on the road.

    Steven R. Spriggs, the appellant, held his mobile phone in his hand to use the mapping application to find his way around the congestion when STOPPED in heavy traffic

    This person was not moving at the time. On top of that, if the phone had been a Garmin GPS instead of a phone the ticket would never have been issued even though the user would have been using both devices in the same way.
    This kind of stuff is just stupid.

  • by pr0fessor (1940368) on Friday February 28, 2014 @12:16PM (#46367973)

    No reason why a windshield or dash mount cant be required for using the phone as a gps.

    A cell phone mount is required in some states to use it for gps including the one I live in. I had three cars totaled while they were parked by cell phone users two before they passed a no cell phone law and once after.

  • Re:Dumb ruling (Score:5, Informative)

    by gurps_npc (621217) on Friday February 28, 2014 @12:26PM (#46368075) Homepage
    If you want to uphold the real spirit of the law you outlaw any use of any phone - mount or not.

    Studies have shown that hands free mountings do NOT reduce accidents.

  • by BradMajors (995624) on Friday February 28, 2014 @12:36PM (#46368145)

    Windshield mounts are legal in California in the lower left hand corner of the window.

  • by H0p313ss (811249) on Friday February 28, 2014 @12:38PM (#46368155)

    Spriggs said he was stuck in traffic at the time, and therefore it would have been impossible to be driving recklessly.

    He has also said that he opposes phone calls and texting while driving and would support reckless driving charges for mobile phone users where appropriate, but this was not one of those cases so he challenged the ticket.

  • by pepty (1976012) on Friday February 28, 2014 @12:46PM (#46368237)

    Except ironically that would require repealing laws in California since windshield mounts were made illegal many years ago. I can't recall whether dash mounts were similarly criminalized. California became a nanny state a long time ago and that nanny is a German fraulein bitch.

    Oh the horror of not being allowed to put your GPS where it will block your view or get launched into your skull by an airbag. You can mount it to the windshield, but it has to be in a corner.

    (12) A portable Global Positioning System (GPS), which may be mounted in a seven-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver or in a five-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver and outside of an airbag deployment zone,

  • by parkinglot777 (2563877) on Friday February 28, 2014 @01:25PM (#46368611)

    What states ban cell phone talking while driving?

    Here you are http://www.ghsa.org/html/state... [ghsa.org]

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