The Story:

Mr. Spriggs was issued a traffic ticket for checking his phone for an alternative route while sitting in a traffic jam. He was charged with violating California Vehicle Code §23123(a), which bans the use of cell phones while driving, unless the driver uses the phone to listen and talk hands-free.

The Ruling:

People v. Spriggs (February 27, 2014, No. F066927): The California Fifth District Court of Appeal held that drivers can legally check a map application on their cell phones.

The Rationale:

The court agreed with Mr. Spriggs’ argument that he did not violate California Vehicle Code §23123(a) because he was not talking on the phone. According to the court, the statute “means what it says – it prohibits a driver only from holding a wireless phone while conversing on it.”

Read the full opinion here.