A Road Warrior reader asked the other day if it is legal to use your cellphone’s GPS system while driving.

The answer from CHP Officer Jon Sloat, spokesman for the Sonoma County office, is yes, it is legal, because the law regarding cellphone use only specifies holding it to talk or to text.

However, Sloat noted, you could still get a ticket if the officer believes that while you’re fiddling with your GPS that you’re driving at a speed that’s unsafe under the conditions.

“If you can’t drive safely while using a GPS, you’re weaving or all over the road, then your safe speed is zero,” he said.

“It’s not safe, but it’s not illegal,” Sloat said.


If you have a question for the Road Warrior, please send it to jim.fremgen@pressdemocrat.com.

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  1. Josh

    This is no longer true. California courts ruled that it is illegal to manually operate ANY electronic device while in a car, for virtually any reason. With a few exceptions, such as touching a hands-free device to accept a call.

    So now, you cannot touch a GPS, but you may fiddle with a paper map.

    April 9th, 2013 1:09 pm

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