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The Courts Cellphones Transportation

Using Handheld Phone GPS While Driving Is Legal In California 142

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

    by JesseMcDonald ( 536341 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @12:47PM (#46368241) Homepage

    Even better: Make the navigation app stop responding to input whenever the phone is moving.

    The phone can't distinguish between the driver using the phone while it's moving and a passenger using the phone while it's moving. I, for one, would be very annoyed if my phone stopped working whenever I was riding in someone else's car, or on public transportation. There's also the fact that this misfeature would actively prevent a passenger from assisting the driver with navigation functions.

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @01:07PM (#46368449)

    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.

    I think that's giving more credit to the cop than is deserved. As you said, the guy was stopped. The cop is already ignoring the spirit of the law. I doubt the cop would pay attention to the specific lettering of the law which would draw a distinction between GPS only and cell phones.

  • by asylumx ( 881307 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @02:10PM (#46368985)
    There's an argument to be made that putting it nearer the center of the windshield helps you keep your eyes on the road, whereas putting it off in a corner makes you take your eyes off the road to look at it. Yes, it may block part of your vision beyond the windshield in that spot, but like I said, there's an argument to be made. If there weren't at least two sides to it, it wouldn't be much of an argument now would it?

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