Calif. judges: No driving and texting, but yes to...

A California appellate court decided Thursday that looking at a cellphone screen to use maps and other apps while driving is legal, the Los Angeles Times reported.

California permits looking at maps on your smartphone while driving.
Nicole Hill | Getty Images
California permits looking at maps on your smartphone while driving.

A Fresno man, Steven Spriggs, received a ticket for $165 when he used a smartphone app to navigate around a traffic jam. Two lower courts rejected his challenge that the law only prohibited hand-held phone conversations, not use of maps. State attorneys said the law against driving and talking on hand-held devices extended to any hands-on phone use.

The 5th District Court of Appeal overturned these decisions in favor of the driver as the judges agreed that interpreting the law so broadly would cause "absurd results." These consequences would include prohibiting a driver from just glancing at the phone display to view the time.

(Read more: Google and 'driving while Glassing' laws)

The judges also said that when driving and talking on a hand-held device became illegal in 2006, the iPhone had not yet hit the market. Thus the law did not apply to nonconversational phone uses.

Read the complete article here.

—By CNBC.com

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