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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Reading Smartphone Maps While Driving Not Illegal - CA Court

Third time's a charm! A central California man found that out recently when he won his third appeal in an appellate court in trying to reverse a $165 fine for looking at a map on his iPhone 4 while driving. This news report from ABC News explains further...

"The 5th District Court of Appeal reversed the case of a Fresno man who was ticketed in January 2012 for looking at a map on his iPhone 4 while stuck in traffic. The driver, Steven Spriggs, challenged the $165 fine.


Spriggs first challenged the case in traffic court, where he lost, and then appealed it himself to a three-judge panel in Fresno Country Superior Court, where he lost a second time.

Determined that the law didn't apply to him, Spriggs took it to the appellate court, but this time with help of a law firm that stepped in to represent him pro bono."

The appellate judges ruled that the current law in California prohibits drivers from talking on their cellphones without a hands-free device and doesn't apply to looking at a map on their phone. The law that was used to ticket Spriggs was the "listening and talking" law, in which no prohibition on looking at a map in present.

This ruling simply means the laws will need to be revisited if lawmakers find the need to widen prohibitions while driving due to safety concerns. Texting while driving, for example, is still illegal in most states in the United States.

The line between legal and illegal continues to get blurry with newer devices and ways of communicating with your smartphone. Last month, a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving was also thrown out. Coincidently, that happened in California too.

Read the full maps news report from ABC News.

News source: ABC News

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