California appeals court rules drivers can look at map apps while driving

A California man named Steven Spriggs has been fighting a ticket he was issued for looking at a map app on his smartphone while stuck in traffic. The ticket imposed a $165 fine on the man. Spriggs felt that he wasn't violating the state law that bans talking on a mobile phone while driving.

Spriggs fought the ticket with the argument that using his phone to find an alternate route via a map app didn't break the state law banning talking on a mobile phone while driving. He lost his case in traffic court and then lost again in the Fresno County Superior court. The man appealed the ruling to the district appeals court.

After that appeals court looked at the facts, it reversed the division of the lower court. The appeals court ruled that the law used by the police officer to issue the ticket only applied to listening and talking on a mobile phone, not for other uses.

Spriggs says that the state law needs to be rewritten so that officers can do their job more effectively. The ruling can be appealed again by the state attorney general's office. It's unclear at this time if the ruling will be appealed by the state.

SOURCE: Apple Insider