Posted in: Safety,
by Patrick DeHaan on Feb 28, 2014 12:30 PM
A court in California yesterday tossed out the conviction of motorist Steven Spriggs, who was caught using his iPhone 4's map app two years ago and ticketed.
Spriggs told reporters after the hearing "I'm thrilled to death. I love the part where the justices say the statute means what it says." Spriggs was referring to the California Vehicle Code that says listening and talking on a cell phone while driving is illegal, but not necessarily using a maps app, which is what the justices used in determining to toss the ticket.
There could be an impact on other motorists caught doing the same: the decision is a published decision, meaning courts throughout the entire state of California can see it and rely on its definition of the law, according to Spriggs attorney.
The California Highway Patrol, responding to a request for comment, indicated it's too early to know what kind of impact this will have on police officers and enforcing the current laws.
However, a Captain with a local California police department says this decision will surely put his officers in a bind, not knowing what the motorist may be doing on their phone when the officer sees.
Police across the state seemed to believe using a map app isn't any safer than using a phone for a conversation or texting.
Due to the ruling, Spriggs will get his fine back- $165, but is out the cost of a traffic school he took.