California appeals court overturns ticket, says reading cellphone maps while driving is legal

Feb 27, 2014 4:47 PM

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A California appeals court says it's legal for drivers to read a map on their hand-held cellphones while behind the wheel.

Thursday's ruling by the state's 5th District Court of Appeal reverses the conviction of a Fresno man who was ticketed in January 2012 for looking at a map on his iPhone 4 while stuck in traffic. That driver, Steven Spriggs, challenged his $165 fine with the appellate court.

In their explanation, the judges say that the law prohibiting people from talking on their cellphones without a hands-free device doesn't apply to looking at maps on cellphones.

The court says the law a California Highway Patrol officer used to give Spriggs a ticket applies specifically to people "listening and talking" on cellphones.

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