REALLY? California says you can’t use Google Maps

Have you heard this nonsense? A recent court decision in California has drivers utterly confused as to how to drive safely. It seems that it is legal to use a GPS app while driving but not to touch it or interact with it in any way.

Sorry, but this is just pure horse hockey.

The decision, which you can read for yourself, says that California’s new tough anti-cellphone law applies even if you aren’t really using the phone as a phone. You can’t touch it even if you’re just using it as a GPS just because it’s a phone. As far as we know it’s still legal to use a GPS built into your car, and we’re not clear if it’s ok to use a standalone GPS.

What is clear is that if you do use any of these mobile devices you have to pull completely off to the side of the road.

Look, we agree that distracted driving is a problem. It’s dangerous. We’ll even say that looking at your phone while driving is potentially worse than talking on it while driving. Still, this is the sort of law you can never enforce, that will only breed bad blood between honest highway patrol officers and honest drivers.

These nuisance laws are not going to stop the epidemic of distracted driving, partly because they only deal with cell phones, not with lipstick or e-readers or cheeseburgers or crying kids or any of the myriad of other things that can distract you while you’re driving. So bottom line… keep your eyes on the road. Be smart. And for the love of Pete, don’t touch your cell phone in California!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.