Checking Phone Maps While Driving Ruled OK in California

Appeals Court judges say the state law requiring hands-free devices only applies to conversations, not on-screen directions

  • Share
  • Read Later

A California court ruled Thursday that it’s okay for drivers to check maps on their mobile devices while driving, clarifying a state law against using cell phones behind the wheel.

The decision from California’s 5th District Court of Appeal reverses a conviction of Steven Spriggs, who was caught in January 2012 checking a map on his iPhone while stuck in traffic. Spriggs was smacked with a $165 ticket.

The judges said the California law requiring drivers to use a hands-free device when talking on cell phones applies specifically to situations when motorists are “listening and talking.” Checking a map does not violate the provisions of the law, they decided.