California Court Decides Drivers Can Read Cellphone Maps

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- A California appeals court says it's legal for drivers to read a map on their hand-held cellphones while behind the wheel.

Thursday's ruling by the state's 5th District Court of Appeal reverses the conviction of a Fresno man who was ticketed in January 2012 for looking at a map on his iPhone 4 while stuck in traffic. That driver, Steven Spriggs, challenged his $165 fine with the appellate court.

In their explanation, the judges say that the law prohibiting people from talking on their cellphones without a hands-free device doesn't apply to looking at maps on cellphones.

The court says the law a California Highway Patrol officer used to give Spriggs a ticket applies specifically to people "listening and talking" on cellphones.

Trooper Dan Lopez with NHP doesn't think the same thing will happen here because Nevada's law is much more specific about what you can and can't on the phone while driving. Trooper Lopez says it's illegal to have your phone in your hand really for any reason.