The plaintiff in the case had tried to argue that he didn’t deserve the ticket he received for distracted driving because he wasn’t using his cell to talk or text, but rather was just checking a map so he knew where he was going. However, the judge that heard the appeal said, “nope” and sent him off to pay his fine just like every other distracted driver.
The fact is that while states have laws banning certain uses of handheld devices distracted driving is not only caused by electronic devices. A driver can become distracted while adjusting the radio, opening the glove box or even talking to a passenger sitting right next to them.
And no matter what causes the driver to become distracted in the first place, it only takes a second for something to change around them; a car to stop suddenly in front of them, a child to dart into the road or their own vehicle to go off the road unexpectedly. In that split second the driver essentially loses control of their vehicle and that’s when an accident happens.
In California the state has taken a very strict stance against distracted driving by enacting one of the nation’s most stringent distracted driving laws. And as this recent ruling has shown, each case that comes against it faces low odds of thwarting the efforts of public safety officials to keep driver’s attention on the road, and no where else.