This is a typical case of the media blowing the truth out of proportion. If you read the actual court document
, you will find:
Sup. Ct. Appeal No. 0002345 wrote:Officer Jack Graham and appellant each testified that, while driving, appellant was cited for looking at a map on his cellular phone while holding the phone in his hand.
Frankly at that point holding the phone in your hand is no where near having it mounted on the dash.
There was additional comments at the end of the document that relate to "other things" your hands operate in the car that are equally distracting, but not currently illegal to perform while driving. Think about the dozens of knobs and switches in the car that you periodically take your eyes off the road to adjust or view. Also, think about all the built in navigation systems that permit touching while driving (excluding entering addresses) and for dash mounted versions as well.
My take is that because he was "holding it in his hands" he clearly violated the spirit of the law and that is what the document says. If it is mounted and you happen to touch the screen (not entering an address or typing a description of a map error), there is no difference from doing the same with dash mounted or in-dash GPS devices.
However, given that I have already been pulled over for having a damn phone at my ear as I pulled up to a stop light with a copy on the other corner, I will certain be more than cautious touching anything on my dash when I see a Cop reported ahead.