Can I Use a Map App While Driving in California?

Nov 12, 15 by Jorian Goes

Can I Use a Map App While Driving in California?

Because of the increased risk of accidents associated with the use of cell phones and other devices while driving, many states have enacted laws banning the use of cell phones

while driving. The laws vary from banning all use of cell phones while driving for some drivers to allowing hands-free cell phone use for other drivers. Texting while driving has been banned completely in most states. Even though cell phone use has been restricted throughout the United States, drivers continue to use their cell phones illegally while driving.

If you were issued a California traffic ticket for using your cell phone while driving or texting while driving, contact Ticket Snipers now for more information about fighting your ticket. We represent clients who have received tickets for both moving violations and non-moving violations. Our traffic ticket experts are here 24/7 to help you fight your California traffic ticket. With a money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose. California Vehicle Code § 23123(a) states, “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 case of People v. Spriggs
put the question before the Court of Appeal whether using a handheld cell phone to view a map application was in violation of VC § 23123(a). The lower court held that using the handheld device to look at a map application while driving violated the vehicle code section; however, the Court of Appeal reversed this decision.

California Court of Appeal Overturns Lower Court Decision Regarding Cell phone Use for Map App

The court held that using the GPS map function on a handheld cell phone while driving did not violate the provisions of V.C. § 23123(a). The court found that a more reasonable interpretation of the code section as that it prohibited a person from talking or listening on a cell phone while driving that was not a hands-free device.

The Court specifically noted that if the Legislature intended for this code section to apply in this situation and other similar situations, it could have used wording in the statute such as “hands-free looking, hands-free operation, or hands-free use.” Of course, the Legislature can always revise the vehicle code to include “looking at or using mobile apps” to make those illegal actions while driving in the future.

It is in a driver’s best interest to keep up-to-date with the latest changes to California’s Vehicle Code to reduce the risk of receiving a traffic ticket for a violation that is new or has been modified by amendments, new laws, or new court decisions. Our team of professionals work hard to keep you out of traffic court. Contact Ticket Snipers as soon as possible after receiving a California traffic ticket so we can begin working immediately on your behalf. Paying a fine and pleading guilty is not in your best interest because the fine may not be the only consequence of pleading guilty to a traffic ticket. You may also face a substantial increase in your automobile insurance if you plead guilty to a California traffic ticket.

Fight Your California Traffic Ticket and Win!

Our team of professionals work hard to keep you out of traffic court. Contact Ticket Snipers as soon as possible after receiving a California traffic ticket so we can begin working immediately on your behalf. Paying a fine and pleading guilty is not in your best interest because the fine may not be the only consequence of pleading guilty to a traffic ticket. You may also face a substantial increase in your automobile insurance if you plead guilty to a California traffic ticket.