Turns Out…You CAN Check a Phone Map While Driving in California

So, I drive a lot, and in Los Angeles, checking Google Maps on my phone is a must so I can find the quickest route around the city. I already know we’re not supposed to be texting while driving, but I always wondered if checking my phone maps would get me a ticket, too. Well, according to TIME, a California court ruled that checking a map on your phone while driving is allowed.

The judges said the California law requiring drivers to use a hands-free device when talking on cell phones applies specifically to situations when motorists are “listening and talking.” Checking a map does not violate the provisions of the law, they decided.

Now, this doesn’t mean people still shouldn’t use caution. I know checking my maps distracts me slightly less than texting, but it’s still a distraction. Also, I’m curious how people will be able to defend themselves when pulled over, trying to explain that they were checking a map instead of the pricey, rule-breaking alternative. But it’s nice to have some clarification on what is and what isn’t allowed while driving. Now, what about playing Flappy Bird behind the wheel?

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