Fresno Citizen Vows To Keep Fighting Cellphone Violation Decision

Posted on April 26, 2013

A Fresno citizen recently found himself in the middle of a debate over just how far California’s laws against distracted driving extend.  After being slapped with a citation for breaching the state’s mobile device usage bans and appealing the sentence, the court ruled that the traffic officer was in the right in terms of the application of the law.  But the driver isn’t going down without a fight.

What distinguishes this case from other court battles is the fact that the individual was neither texting nor talking on his cellphone when he was pulled over at the beginning of last year.  Instead, he reportedly turned to his phone to find a route that would allow him to circumvent a traffic jam.

An officer ticketed the driver for using the map application of his phone.  The driver went to traffic court to challenge the ruling, but not only did he lose, but the decision was upheld by a Fresno appellate court.  The judge in that court came to the conclusion that the state’s ban on handheld wireless device usage encompassed GPS activity.  The judge did say, however, that lawmakers should think about revisiting a section of the law saying it’s okay to dial a number.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, the matter has not come to an end just yet.  The driver is seeking yet another appeal, this time at the 5th District Court of Appeal of California.  If granted, another chapter to this tale could unfurl soon.

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