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.
This case requires us to determine whether using a wireless phone solely for its map application function while driving violates Vehicle Codesection 23123. We hold that it does.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.
Our review of the statute's plain language leads us to conclude that the primary evil sought to be avoided is the distraction the driver faces when using his or her hands to operate the phone. That distraction would be present whether the wireless telephone was being used as a telephone, a GPS navigator, a clock or a device for sending and receiving text messages and emails.