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Mapping and driving is ok, appellate court says

Published Feb 28th, 2014 6:30AM EST
Using Maps Apps While Driving

A man who was given a ticket two years ago for using a map app on an iPhone 4 while driving had his conviction overturned by a Fresno appellate court on Thursday, which agreed that drivers should be able to use map apps on a smartphone while on the road, FresnoBee reports. “The Fifth District Court of Appeal unanimously concluded that the state Vehicle Code applies to listening and talking and texting on a cellphone while driving – not looking at a map application,” the publication writes.

Other motorists who have been or will be given similar tickets can now cite the appellate court’s decision in their cases.

“It would be premature at this point to speculate on what impact, if any, this ruling will have on the Department,” a California Highway Patrol spokesman said. “Our officers will continue to enforce the traffic safety laws that are on the books.”

One of the issues police may be faced with when dealing with similar cases is users quickly switching between a text and a maps app. “How are we going to know they’re not texting?” Fresno Police Department Captain Andy Hall said. “”I really don’t see how playing with a map is any safer than texting.”

In related news, Google is reportedly lobbying lawmakers in many states to allow the use of its Google Glass wearable device while driving. A woman wearing Google Glass while driving has been recently found not guilty of using the wearable device while driving. She was stopped by the same California Highway Patrol in late October last year.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.