A California court has ruled that it's illegal for drivers to check mapping applications on a smartphone while driving. This does not preclude drivers from using navigation systems that are built in to a car. This ruling comes after a driver argued he was using a phone for directions rather than texting or talking.
According to vehicle code 23123, drivers are not allowed to use a smartphone while driving. The ruling states:
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.
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.
Drivers are still able to use in car navigation systems. Drivers are also able to use voice controlled systems, so this means iPhone users can use Siri to get directions.