California Court Rules Against Cell Phone Use At Stoplights

by Staff Blogger | November 21st, 2011

November 21, 2011

Next time you are at a stoplight and itching to call someone, think again. The San Francisco Chronicle reported last Tuesday that the state court of appeals upheld that a driver who is stopped at a red light is still technically driving, and therefore prohibited from using a hand-held cell phone.

The debate began in December 2009 when a California motorist was pulled over and cited for using his cell phone while at a stop light. The man appealed the citation, saying the law that prohibits the use of cell phones while driving only applies if the vehicle is in motion.

The First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco stated the law was intended for all motorists on state roadways, even if they may be temporarily stopped. The Deputy Attorney General called it a “common sense” ruling, but lawyers for the defense stated they would take the case to the next level at the state Supreme Court.

Attorneys for the defense base this decision to pursue the case further on a 1991 case, in which, a man’s DUI arrest was thrown out because he was technically found asleep behind the wheel of a running–but legally parked–car.

The California Auto Accident Attorneys with Berg Injury Lawyers always discourage the use of cell phones while driving; but would like to know your opinion. Can a ticket be issued for using a cell phone while driving if the vehicle is not moving? Tell us what you think on our Facebook page.