OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – Mayor Jean Quan said she was using a navigation app after a photo surfaced of the mayor checking her phone while she was behind the wheel.
The photo sent to KPIX 5 shows Quan holding up and looking at her phone at a level visible to other motorists. It was not immediately clear when or where the photo was taken.
On Monday, Quan’s spokesperson confirmed to KPIX 5 that the mayor was indeed in the photo.
Late Monday afternoon, Quan said in a statement, “I was looking up an address for an event I was headed to: using navigation apps is legal, but it’s nonetheless important to stay careful on the road.”
Earlier this year, a California appeals court ruled that drivers can legally read a map on a hand-held cellphone while behind the wheel.
“I think it’s probably not the best behavior to exhibit as the leader of the community,” said Brian Singer, who has spent thousands of his own money to put up billboards of Bay Area drivers caught texting while driving.
“It’s raised the visibility for it. I think it’s brought the conversation forward and let people talk about it more, which is really the whole purpose,” Singer said.
In Oakland, a texting while driving ticket costs $76. Court fees would raise the amount a driver owes to nearly $300.