Multiple news agencies have indicated in multiple articles that a recent court ruling has addressed the use of mapping features in smartphones while behind the wheel.
According recent reports, the use of mapping technology certain smartphones offer could be enough reason for an officer to pull the driver over if the recent court ruling is to be taken as the final interpretation of the distracted driving laws enacted by lawmakers in the state back in 2010. As it now stands, the law says that drivers are prohibited from handling the phones and talking or listening to conversations. The law also says that handling a phone to send or receive text messages is forbidden, which does not cover mapping technology use.
Jurors, however, have a very different take on what the law states. All possible uses of a smartphone while behind the wheel, including looking at the screen to check on the navigation tool that is delivering turn-by-turn directions is banned, according to the jurors.
Many technologies offered by Android allow for the drivers to set up the navigation feature while the vehicle is parked. When the vehicle begins to drive, the feature delivers turn-by-turn directions, which avoids distractions since the driver does not have to look at the screen or handle the phone in order to verify the recommended routes.
Some believe that picking on this type of smartphone use behind the wheel could be an issue, since no studies or reports show that there’s a significant enough proof that accidents are being caused by distractions related to the use of mapping technology.
Multiple new cars have been fitted with a series of new technologies that include GPS and navigation features. Automakers have been developing integration systems that would make vehicle owners more connected to social media websites while behind the wheel, which could potentially cause an increase in the risk associated with distractions, safety advocates say. The restrictions on mapping technology use through smartphones cause conflict when it comes to enforcing the distracted driving laws.
The cell phone ban restricts the use of the device while behind the wheel for writing, reading or sending a text message, as well as talking, never for using it as a mapping and navigation feature. In California, some think that it should also apply to the use of navigation technology, which is being challenged by some.
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