California judge says drivers cannot check maps on their handset while driving; all excuses are now shot down
In some states where talking on a cellphone is prohibited while driving, those pulled over by the cops used to get away with the excuse that they weren't in a conversation, they were just checking the map on their phone. Now this would work depending on how knowledgeable the cop who pulled you over was. Tell the officer that you were using Apple Maps and he might have requested a psychological evaluation for you. Heck, in Florida, using Apple Maps might have led the cop to 'Baker Act' you (Google it).
Seriously though, using the excuse that you were using a mapping application in the past would have helped you escape a ticket for operating a cell phone while driving. It seems that while the police hate distracted drivers, they hate lost drivers wandering around their fair city even more. A judge in California has changed things and might have set a precedent for future cases. Judge W. Kent Hamlin has just made a ruling that in California drivers cannot do anything with their cell phone while driving a car. The case involved one Steven Spriggs who had been ticketed by the popo and appealed saying that he should not have been cited for using the cellphone while driving for something other than receiving or making a call. Spriggs had claimed that he was using his phone's mapping application while driving.
The heart of the case from the judge's ruling
The judge made his ruling simple and to the point. "This case requires us to determine whether using a wireless phone solely for its map application function while driving violates Vehicle Code section 23123.1 We hold that it does." The judge broadened the scope of the law by noting that distracted driving is distracted driving regardless if the driver is making a call or using a mapping application, sending or receiving texts or even using the phone for navigation. He asked himself if the original founding fathers of this great nation those who wrote the bill or supported it meant to limit its application. In his ruling, the judge decided that the law was meant to cover all distractions. Judgment for the plaintiff. Whack. We wonder what Judge Judy would think.
Things that are NOT allowed: