California Court Rules Anti-Texting Laws Apply to Checking Maps While Driving

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    According to a court ruling from the California Court of Appeals (via Orin Kerr), using a mobile phone such as Apple's iPhone to check or update a mapping or GPS program violates the state's distracted driving law. Vehicle Code 23123, aka the distracted driving law, was developed to prohibit drivers from texting and making handheld calls with a mobile phone.

    The ruling came in late March after a driver was cited for driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone. The driver, who was accessing the phone for directions, argued that he had not been using the phone for talking or texting, which led to the newly expanded law.
    The expanded law applies only to mobile phones, not to in-car touch-controlled navigation systems. iPhone users who need to access maps for directions can use Apple's Siri for handsfree GPS access.

    Article Link: California Court Rules Anti-Texting Laws Apply to Checking Maps While Driving
  2. macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2008
  3. macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2011
  4. macrumors 6502


    Aug 2, 2009
    So, it's legal to use a Garmin mounted to the windshield.....but not an iPhone mounted to the windshield......

  5. macrumors 604


    Mar 26, 2008
    im not even allowed to touch my iPhone in the car to change music here in Germany yet the iPod Touch would be okay :D
  6. macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level

    If they use the logic "the primary evil to is prevent distractions" as the basis for not allowing map access, then why are garmin devices ANY different?

    What if I was using an old iphone as a dedicated gps device?
  7. macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2011
    What Next

    So, stay tuned for laws that prohibit turning on the radio, changing radio stations, operating the window cranks or buttons, etc. California...the nanniest of the Nanny States.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    Is watching porn on my iPad mini instead of texting or navigating is legal? If not, I should get at least 300 tickets <3
  9. macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2012
    Can I still eat a Big Mac while shaving with my electric shaver while driving? If so, then I'm good.

    Seriously, why not just make a true "distracted driving" law that covers all the stupid stuff people should not be doing while driving?

    I'm not sure I see what the difference is between using the built-in Nav unit (many of which are much less intuitive and much slower to interact with, thus taking more of your attention) and a mobile phone.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010

    What if the bulit-in touch navigation system has a mobile data connection?
  11. macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2008
    Decisions and laws like these make Apple's continued efforts to build Siri support directly into the steering wheel of motor vehicles an imperative part of the iPhone's growth.

    Making Siri and Maps work better with those voice commands wouldn't hurt, either.
  12. macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2010
    "iPhone users who need to access maps for directions can use Apple's Siri for handsfree GPS access."

    You can, but it's not recommended if you want to get to your destination.
  13. OtherJesus, Apr 8, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013

    macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2005
    Bay Area, California
    If I didn't have so many roots in this crap hippie state of California I would be gone in a flash.

    So women can put on make up while they drive or people can shove burgers in their face...
    God forbid we look at directions...

    When will the hippies learn that utopia is a pipe dream?
  14. macrumors 68000

    Mar 5, 2012
    Central California
    If Siri worked well I would be against this law but we aren't there yet with hands free

    Siri is pure poop
  15. macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire
    Apple maps give you turn by turn directions so why would you need to look a it ?

    Are there some other map apps that don't give turn by turn ?

    I can see a bunch of people getting arrested for using traditional car GPSs :D.
  16. macrumors member


    Jan 21, 2009
    I think the court erred in its reasoning, as it failed to consider the fact that a driver who is in need of directions would have the additional burden and distraction of being lost but for having the ability to get directions from the phone.

    Essentially, navigating is a fundamental requirement of driving (unlike making phone calls or sending text), thus, it is faulty logic to treat them as being the same in this context.
  17. macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2011
    Exactly... As usual I will continue doing as I please with no consequences... I text as I need, as well as spend a lot of time on the phone in my car for work. These half baked laws are a joke.
  18. macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    I wonder if he was specifically cited for using his hands to input the destination while driving. I would hope that if he did that while parked and had the phone mounted in say a windshield mount and it was just giving directions without him having to interact with it, that would be fine.

    And if they really want to crack down on that, the law might as well include hands interacting with a GPS unit while driving.
  19. macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2002
    Bonney Lake, WA
    Police Mobile Units?

    So I assume all those Police cruzers with those mobile units, and radio systems are not considered driving distractions? I can not tell you how many times I see a police officer driving down the highway looking at their mobile laptops. I am thinking the people enforcing these laws are total fools. No, I am not assuming, they obviously are...
  20. macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    The danger is real (and not just to you the driver), and no law can ever be perfect.

    But my iPhone is MUCH easier/quicker to navigate with than the standalone Garmins/etc. I see people fumbling with.

    Maybe a better law would be: no TYPING or manual text entry on any device by a driver. No texting, no searching for a song, no entering an address--and that goes for Garmins, music players, phones... anything. But you're free to use your navigator/phone in other ways, like skipping songs, toggling the map view, etc. (and of course voice operation).

    It's not a perfect rule but at least it's clear and covers a lot of dangerous situations. Pull over if you need to enter information!

    Siri saves the day for me. She doesn't always get my more obscure web searches right, and her geofence reminders have... issues... But she's nearly flawless at understanding my navigation queries, including weird restaurant names, and I've never had her mess up an SMS either. (She's less than perfect with song and artist names... but I just shuffle my music and Skip anyway.)
  21. macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2011
    Most people believe they are above average. Clearly you believe that putting some of your attention elsewhere will not affect your driving. Usually you will be correct.

    Perhaps the only deterrent should be complete liability for any damages if you are found to have interacted with your phone within 15 seconds of an accident.

    As my teen son will state, nothing is ever my fault, other people are just idiots.
  22. macrumors 68030


    Sep 3, 2011
    Oh enough with the Apple Maps jokes already. When you get past the hype, overall it's not really any more flawed than Google maps.
  23. macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2009
    The cops need to be held to this as well. At least here in AL, it is illegal to do the texting, emails, etc., yet you will always see cops messing with their laptops, cell phones, etc. It needs to work both ways.
  24. macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2009
    If they want to eliminate distraction of the driver, they will need to start with my spouse!
  25. macrumors 65816


    Feb 27, 2006
    So, in jurisdictions where citizens are prohibited from carrying handguns in public, police officers also should be prohibited from carrying handguns in public?

    Where do we draw the line on this belief that "it needs to work both ways"?

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