Governor Schwarzenegger signs GPS Bill
Posted: Oct. 01, 2008 09:10 a.m.
Last Saturday, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed two auto-related bills into state law. One of them culminated a year-long fight to make windshield-mounted GPS devices legal in the Golden State.
According to the SB1567 bill, California motorists will not face a penalty for mounting their GPS devices to their front windshields, beginning Jan. 1, 2009.
According to the Los Angeles Times, "California was one of only two states -- Minnesota is the other -- that made it a crime to mount navi screens on your windshield. Violators faced a $108 fine."
"I'm not clear on how or why this originally became a law," says a Yahoo Tech writer. "I've always assumed it was a rather feeble attempt to ban radar detectors from cars."
Gov. Schwarzenegger also approved a bill to allow hybrid car drivers with "clean air" stickers to drive in car pool lanes at all times, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. But he vetoed a bill that would have made it illegal for drivers to have pets on their lap when behind the wheel.
Back to the GPS bill. California drivers will soon be able to place a portable device in the lower right or lower left corner of the windshield, as long as they aren't obstructing any air bag deployment. Engadget reports that approved devices can have screens no larger than seven-inches if mounted on the lower corner of the passenger side, and can be no larger than five-inches if mounted on the driver's side. But good luck finding a seven-inch plus GPS anyway.
Tech bloggers seem pleased with the new law, but do express disappointment at the strict mounting rules. Jalopnik writes, "For aesthetic purposes, those two areas are best suited for GPS navigation units, but for practicality, not so much." GPSTracklog.com adds, "Your choice, as a driver with a left-mounted GPS is to use your left hand to reach across the steering wheel with your right hand."
You can forget about being able to reach the passenger's side units. Maybe that's why they're allowed to be seven inches.
You can read the exact language of this semi-helpful bill here. Also take the time to find the best GPS with this U.S. News' Buying Guide.