If you rely on your cell phone for GPS guidance in California, you might be putting yourself at risk for a distracted driving citation.
This week, a California Appellate Court ruled that using a cell phone as a GPS could be considered a moving violation and is the equivalent of texting while diving.
For truckers, that could lead to a massive fine.
Steven Spriggs received a distracted driving citation for using his cell phone as a GPS. He appealed the ticket, saying he wasn’t using the phone, he was reading a map.
A California court ruled that since Spriggs was “using a wireless telephone” and that it wasn’t “configured to all hands-free listening or talking” using the phone as a GPS device is illegal.
“This case requires us to determine whether using a wireless phone solely for its map application function while driving violates Vehicle Code section 23123. We hold that it does,” the California v. Spriggs court ruling reads.
The court ruled that any activity on the phone that could be distracting to a driver falls under the law. “Our review of the statute’s plain language leads us to conclude that the primary evil sought to be avoided is the distraction the driver faces when using his or her hands to operate the phone,” the ruling reads. “That distraction would be present whether the wireless telephone was being used as a telephone, a GPS navigator, a clock or a device for sending and receiving text messages and emails.”