Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Seen Using her Phone While Driving

On Monday, an Oakland resident spotted Mayor Jean Quan using what appears to be a cell phone while behind the wheel of her car. It is illegal for a driver in California to use their phone to text or write an email while operating a car. This restriction applies even if they are stopped at a red light. The California Judicial Council says fines for texting and driving start at $160.

Quan provided a statement that said she was looking up an address for an event in the picture—an act she said was legal. She told the public that she is committed to safe driving, and that she was mindful of cutting back on people using phones in the car. She said that although she is legally allowed to use a navigation app while driving, she will do her best to be more mindful of her behavior in the future.

A spokesperson from the California Highway Patrol clarified however, saying that it is not necessarily legal to operate a GPS device while driving. The spokesperson said a person can be cited for basic speed laws, since there is no safe speed for operating a device while driving. She recommended pulling over to enter in an address on a GPS or phone when driving.

Read more about Quan here.