California Judge Outlaws Using Map Apps on Mobile Phones While Driving

Not long ago, if you wanted directions to a city you were unfamiliar with, you had two options. The first was to use the traditional atlas you could purchase from a local store, and it was extremely difficult for most people, aside from truck drivers and seasoned road trippers, to figure out which exits they needed to take and how many miles away those exits were. The second option, which was far easier, was to print the directions off from an Internet site. However, you were in trouble with either option if there was an unexpected road or exit closing in an area you already had no clue in regards to how to navigate.

As time moved along, we were introduced to the first global positioning systems (GPS). These were practically the best thing ever invented aside from the fact that they did not have the ability to pick up on road closings on the fly in the beginning. Today, the GPS systems are beginning to get weeded out because of the fact that so many people own smartphones that allow them to download an application for a map right on their phone. Since the majority of people also have an Internet connection, these maps are also extremely high-tech. They can pick up on road and exit closings that previous GPS’ failed to do. Additionally, many of them will even allow you to pick alternative routes based on the live traffic reports it is picking up.

There is just one problem for California drivers, however. They can continue using the outdated GPS, or at least that is the common interpretation, but they will no longer be allowed to use a map on their cellphone. Why? Well, there was an accident where the driver admitted to using his phone while driving, which is illegal in itself in California, to check the map.

Sure, using your phone to make a call, check your social media accounts or text messages is probably not the smartest idea. However, many people believe the California judge’s ruling regarding it being illegal to use a cell phone to look at the GPS app is a little outlandish. They say that it is not like they are having to put a lot of thought into what they are going to say to the map as they would when conversing with another person.

What do you think?



Jason Russell is our resident technology expert covering everything technology related. He is a total technology geek and no one knows technology better than him.

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10 Responses to “California Judge Outlaws Using Map Apps on Mobile Phones While Driving”

  1. Stan Kerns says:

    Antediluvian–I bet the judge is about 900 years old and a total fogie–texting and typing bad–following an up to date map instead of looking wildly around trying to figure out where you are is a very good idea.
    Stan

  2. mike says:

    I think these guys are pushing it too much…..another way of making money from tickets.
    this is completely stupid

  3. jamie says:

    pff what a stupid ruling. I suppose looking at a map book while driving is soo much safer. I know this judge is probably 90 years old and has no idea what a smartphone even is, but someone should tell him the freakin map app talks to you! “Take the next left”… ohh how dangerous. pfff

  4. Shylor says:

    Google is in that state. This law won’t last a week. Google has to much invested into Android phones and Maps in that area.

  5. Steve says:

    Yet another reason to hate California…

  6. George says:

    Th judge’s ruling almost defies logic – Most GPS (not Cell phones) also have maps, so why not outlaw them, also? Only justification I can imagine is that the judge felt that the phone could also be used for phone calls while driving????

  7. Brandon Rinebold says:

    23123.5.
    (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using
    an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read
    a text-based communication,…
    (c) For purposes of this section, a person shall not be deemed to
    be writing, reading, or sending a text-based communication if the
    person reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name in an
    electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making
    or receiving a telephone call or if a person otherwise activates or
    deactivates a feature or function on an electronic wireless
    communications device.

    Normally, I would say an article title like this is eaggerating but this judge did essentially make up a new law to charge this guy with since what he did is explicitly excluded from the current laws on reckless driving.

    The anti-cell law in CA only applies to calls and texts. Not GPS apps or (scary as it may be) Angry Birds.

  8. Witness says:

    It leaves me wondering if the authorities can somehow distinguish, based on record keeping, whether one is on the phone. either talking of texting, per se. If they can, this is a stupid ruling. If they can’t…then there are some practical problems that may not have easy answers.

  9. Satchmo says:

    This is the worst ruling I have heard of. My phone has gps, duh! I have it on the radio and it has the music. what music I’m playing or helps me Why have two devices? Old people are so slow with technology. Is gps banned? No? Then step aside judge, we the people will use or technology. Get over it, some people have accidents no matter what’s in their car. I’d take a map app over an atlas in a heartbeat, but for areas I haven’t been to before, gps really helps.

  10. Peter H says:

    I don’t want to live in this state anymore.

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