While stopped in heavy traffic, Steven Spriggs pulled out his smartphone to check a map application to find an alternate route around the congestion. A CHP officer spotted him holding his phone and cited him for violating CA Vehicle Code Section 23123, which prohibits drivers from “using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.” Spriggs fought the ticket on the grounds that he was not talking on his phone, but only looking at a map. It would not have been illegal for Spriggs to look at a paper map while driving. After losing at the trial level, he appealed and the appeals court reversed his conviction, stating:
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