Talking tech since 2003

Gary G. Howell, a Republican in the West Virginia Legislature, decided to draft up some legislation after reading an article about Google Glass on CNET.  The bill is looking to make it illegal to drive while “using a wearable computer with head mounted display.”  This is certainly a very proactive approach, perhaps even overly so, as Google Glass has yet to be released to the public yet.  While it’s great to see politicians keeping up with the latest technology and actually being proactive about something for once, I can’t help but think that this is a bit over-zealous.

Howell gave CNET the following statement:

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.

Google Glass hasn’t even been released yet and we’re already banning it in places? If anything, I think Google Glass may actually help people become better drivers, because they will be able to keep their eyes on the road at all times, which would be especially helpful while following directions to someplace you’re unfamiliar with.

How often do people drive terribly when they have no idea where they’re going? Cutting into lanes, driving slowly, taking their eyes off the road briefly to check the GPS, etc. With Google Glass, you wouldn’t have to take your eyes off the road, the directions would be in view at all times. And that’s just one benefit.

Here’s a newsflash, despite legislation banning texting/calling and driving, people still do it. They would be much safer doing it with Google Glass or other wearable technology than if they take their eyes off the road for a split second to check their phone.

While the bill hasn’t passed yet (and potentially will not pass), Howell is convinced that other legislators will follow his lead.  Let’s hope they at least wait until the product is released to the public and there’s actual data to work with.

Perhaps this will all be moot when we have Google self-driving cars.

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