California Bans Using Smartphone Maps While Driving image

A California driver was cited for violating a country’s law as he was holding his cellphone while driving.

The officer who cited Steve R. Spriggs, in January 2012, said that he was holding a smartphone in his hand while driving and using the GPS device for navigating. Spriggs said that he was neither talking nor sending text messages as the law implies, but was using it for navigating and this is not forbidden.

Code 23123 says that “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while 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.”

The appeals court instead said that using a smartphone while driving in California is forbidden, no matter what the purpose is. The existing code implies that cellphones can be used as navigation devices only if are fitted with hands-free listening configurations. The intend of this law is obviously to prevent drivers form any distractions, including such devices.

The National Safety Council notes, “There is no research or evidence that indicates voice-activated technologies eliminate or even reduce the distraction to the drivers’ mind.”