A California State Appeals Court has made a new ruling which says that California drivers can now view Smartphone based maps in their car while driving. This going against the prior law that sad that no Smartphone use was legal in the vehicle while driving or you would get a heft smack down with a fine. California driver Steven Spriggs got busted under California Vehicle Code section 23123, subdivision (a), which forbids drivers from “using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.”
Spriggs argued in court that he was not driving erratically and that there is a difference between talking on the phone and checking a map. His argument was pretty good apparently because he got out of the $165.00 dollar violation. He said:
"We’re distracted all the time," he said, adding that his own son sustained a broken leg from a driver who was talking on a phone. "If our distractions cause us to drive erratically, we should be arrested for driving erratically."
The 5th District Court of Appeal in Fresno County agreed with him and now the state attorney general, Kamala Harris, has not decided whether she will appeal the ruling to the California Supreme Court. I am willing to bet it will go to the Supreme Court.
You can read the decision here: Appeals Court Ruling
Now what do you have to say about eh’? Here is what we are saying about it behind the scenes:
Jimski: This ruling is make things interesting. Ok, now tell me what you were doing with your phone? Talking, texting, Angry Birds, maps. Be honest now. Yeah right.
Marti: Bad idea.
Jeremy: What is so different from looking at your phone (which you can hold in your line of sight and still keep a look at the road) or looking at in dash and taking your eyes off the road?
Jimski: Not saying it’s right or wrong. Just saying it will now be impossible to ticket someone for using a phone in a car. So more people will probably die or be permanently disabled. That is just a fact of life in the 21st century.
But let’s outlaw some product or limit access to something that may cause a couple accidental deaths a year. Our priorities are all screwed up.
And I am not saying in-dash system are 100% innocent either. When I had one for 4 years I was sometimes distracted as I approached a turn in a strange neighborhood.
Marti: It doesn’t take but a second of distraction. While in motion, you shouldn’t look at your phone at all.
Marti: Now that I’ll agree with: it’s unenforceable. I simply disagree, and all I can do is shake my head.