Lawmakers seek ban on Google Glass while driving

Already the gadget has been banned in a bar and, perhaps soon, behind the wheel.

The reality-augmentation spectacles Google Glass are meeting resistance even before their release, as another jurisdiction considers restrictions on their use.

Legislators in West Virginia are considering a bill that would ban using wearable computers while driving, even though people can't yet buy them.

Gary G. Howell, a Republican in the West Virginia Legislature, proposed a bill last week that would impose the same restriction as the use of smartphones while driving. The legislation refers specifically to "a wearable computer with head mounted display" and stills allow the use of hands-free equipment to place or receive calls, but Google Glass wouldn't qualify in that category.

Howell said he actually likes the idea of Google Glass, when speaking to Cnet, but argued that young people, who are also the most vulnerable and under skilled drivers, would be the first to try the new device, and they would be distracted from driving. Arguably, reading a text message on Google Glass would be similar to texting and driving, which is unlawful in many jurisdictions. The ban, however, would to extend to law enforcement and emergency service officers, who might find Google Glass handy someday.

It's uncertain whether this proposal will actually become law, Howell admitted. But he believes that other legislatures will file similar bills, which could give Google headaches ahead of the launch of Google Glass this year or in early 2014.

Challenged before release

Wearing Google Glass while driving is only the latest contentious issue Google has to tackle. Earlier this month a Seattle bar banned Google Glass use on its premises in advance of the eyewear becoming publicly available, on the grounds that the device would allow video recording without customers' notice. It might be a publicity stunt to piggybank on the hype of the yet-unreleased product. But it's possible other privacy-minded venues could adopt similar policies.

Still, the states of Nevada, Florida, and California have passed laws permitting Google's autonomous cars on the road, as long as a human is behind the wheel. So should people be allowed do wear Google Glass while sitting in the driver's seat in one of Google's self-driving cars?

If other lawmakers decide to propose laws similar to West Virginia, they could be in effect banning a device that is designed to make smartphone-like communication hands-free. Google Glass showing you a text message in the corner of your eye is arguably safer than looking at your smartphone, and it would let you keep look at the road. so the device would actually reduce accidents than lead to more issues.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Googleconsumer electronicsgadgets

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?