An anonymous reader submits "As of January 1, 2004 the State of California has banned the use of notebook computers used anywhere in the front seat (PDF) of a moving vehicle. Previously, the ban applied just to TV sets. Even if your car-pooling front seat passenger is just doing some programming, you can be charged with a crime (AB 301). Thanks go to CA Assemblymember Sarah Reyes for this well meaning but overly broad piece of legislation."
The text is mercifully short, but still contains some tricky language; probably the meaning of "installed" at the very least needs to be clarified. Would a laptop affixed to a installed bracket
count? Considering the complexity of modern automotive navigation/control systems (now sneaking into budget vehicles, too), it seems like a very fine distinction. The law would seem to ban handheld computers
being used as navigation aids, too, or GPS devices with games
, and very soon, nearly all cell phones.