Lawmakers seek to ban Google Glass while driving

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Google’s Glass project isn’t even officially out yet and it’s already starting to gain a healthy amount of opposition. The device was recently banned from a Seattle bar, and while that one might have been more publicity stunt than actual rule, this one’s an actual bill.

Lawmakers are in West Virginia are introducing a bill that would ban the use of Google Glass while driving. Gary G. Howell, who is a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, likens it to texting while driving. Apparently, he also believes that because Google Glass is a new technology, it’ll be a problem that comes from the young people out there driving. This is what he told CNET:

I actually like the idea of the product and I believe it is the future, but last legislature we worked long and hard on a no-texting-and-driving law. It is mostly the young that are the tech-savvy that try new things. They are also our most vulnerable and underskilled drivers. We heard of many crashes caused by texting and driving, most involving our youngest drivers. I see the Google Glass as an extension.

So while he doesn’t completely oppose Google Glass, he is wary of the potential dangers it could cause to more inexperienced drivers. But the thing is, Mr. Howell probably has never used Google Glass. And although I haven’t used it myself, I can probably safely say that having Google Glass on (which overlays a display on one side of your vision), is very different from holding your phone and looking away from the road to check it.

I actually think Google Glass can solve that problem. Heck, it might even be safer. And with Google Maps on it, it could probably be one of the most useful devices to have while driving.

But that’s just me. What do you think? Tell us in the comments!

[via CNET]

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8 comments

  1. Seamus McSeamus

    [@Enrique]

    In my case, it make a huge difference what I am eating. Pizza? No problem; fold a slice and eat it like a taco. Most anything else and it’s a crap shoot… too many things falling off burgers or sandwiches.

  2. Enrique

    [@Mike] The people that slow everyone down cause they’re texting are the worst!

    I don’t think eating should slow you down, really. Stuff your mouth then drive :p But then I guess it would depend on what you’re eating…

  3. Mike

    Having had someone eating while driving in the car the other day and going less than 30 mph in the street fast lane, thereby delaying others and causing a traffic jam, I’d like many such disturbances banned. People think that they are capable and invincible–guess what: they’re not.

  4. Seamus McSeamus

    At first glance, my thought was “here goes the government, getting into people’s business again when it isn’t needed”. But, after thinking about it for a second, I think I might actually agree with this one. Common sense would indicate that you shouldn’t drive while using Google Glasses, but we all know that common sense is often in short supply. That’s why we have warning labels on everything.

    It’s only a matter of time before some idiot drives with Google Glasses on, and mows down a bunch of mall shoppers because he’s trying to find naked pictures of Beyonce. At least West Virginia is being proactive.

  5. Enrique
    Author/Staff

    [@Grantwhy] “The problem isn’t what a person’s hands are doing, it is the person’s mind trying to hold a conversation while driving.”

    Very good point! One of the announced apps for Google Glass is The New York Times. Now people can can be even more distracted! Haha.

    It would be smart for Google to implement some sort of Driving Mode, wherein distractions and visuals are kept to a bare minimum. Maybe a simple arrow for turn-by-turn directions? Actually, voice would be even better.

    And we have to keep in mind that we all haven’t tried the thing thing yet. From what I’ve read, it doesn’t take up an entire eye’s vision. It’ll look like a little display on the side of your vision.

  6. Grantwhy

    I agree that using Google Glass while driving is going to be dangerous.

    Studies have shown (heck, I think even Mythbusters have shown) that talking ‘Hands Free’ on a mobile phone while driving is just as much a distraction/increase in risk as holding a phone up to your ear.

    The problem isn’t what a person’s hands are doing, it is the person’s mind trying to hold a conversation while driving.

    Using Google Glass while driving would have to be as much a distraction as talking on a phone.

  7. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    I can see Google Glass being a pro and con. It can help make driving more safe. For example, putting GPS on your glasses as opposed to having to glance at the GPS machine/your phone for directions is probably more safe.

    However, at the same time, I agree with the lawmaker — it can be dangerous, too. It isn’t hard to imagine how someone can be distracted by Google Glass while driving. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter that Google Glass will, for example, show the text message on your glasses as opposed to you having to look at a phone — trying to read that text message is just as distracting, unless you are one of those people that can focus one eyeball on the road and read the text with one eyeball. =O

    It all comes down to how people use it.