By Shelley Goldberg
Thu March 6, 2014
A California appeals court has ruled that it is legal to read maps on a cell phone while driving.
According to the Associated Press, in January of 2012, a Fresno man who was ticketed for looking at a map on his iPhone while stuck in traffic had his conviction reversed by the 5th District Court of Appeal.
In 2008 California passed a law prohibiting the use of hand-held devices, including cell phones, while operating a motor vehicle. According to Wired.com, the law has helped save roughly 300 lives per year.
Despite the new leniency of the “Hands-Free” law, many drivers are still worried about the dangers that could arise from a driver distracted by a map.
Christina Kwok, 24, a teacher’s assistant at Saint Raphael’s School in downtown San Rafael, believes that people will take advantage of this rule. “I can see a lot of drivers continuing to text and drive, and if they were to get pulled over, lie and say they were looking at a map.”
Emily Beach, 20, student at Dominican University of California, offers a compromise. “If we are going to be allowed to look at a map when driving, we should need to have it on a car mount on our dashboard. That way, it is still hands-free.”
Whether you decide to start following this rule or not, California drivers can still be cited for distracted driving.