While it’s true as some say that life is a highway, life shouldn’t be lived through Google Glass when you’re driving, say lawmakers in a smattering of states. Legislators are starting to mull over what will happen when Glass leaves its infancy and heads out into the wider world, and want to make sure no one’s cyborging on the road.
Glass is still only used by perhaps a few thousand people in the United States, with some of those newer users snagging the product during this week’s one-day only public release. But before it spreads to the mainstream, lawmakers in states like New York and New Jersey, among others, say the devices pose dangerous when used on the road, reports WNYC
California currently has a law on the books banning non-informational video screens, but that only works when police can prove the device was turned on while driving, at least, at this point.
Assemblyman Marcos Crespo introduced one of three bills currently ongoing in New York State, and his would go further than just prohibiting Glass or similar devices for drivers.
“These companies – the manufacturers, the sellers – they’re all making great profits off the sale of these items,” Crespo said. “And there should be some consciousness over the fact that the use of them improperly will lead to death.”
The bill would allow for car crash victims to sue Google or other companies if the driver at fault for the accident was wearing something like Glass.
Safety advocates are also concerned about the possible distraction a wearable computer could provide on the road.
“Just looking at this and using common sense, it would seem to be something someone should not be doing while they’re behind the wheel,” said Robert Sinclair, a spokesman for AAA in New York.
Google says Glass is safe to use behind the wheel and could even be a boon for navigation purposes — if the device can “see” the road, it could provide turn-by-turn directions. And users don’t have to look down like they might on a smartphone, only up and to the right as they would to check a mirror.
That being said, the laws of the land prevail, Google warns users.
“When you’re wearing Glass, we just ask you to be very aware of what’s going on around you, to use it wisely, the same way you would use any technology,” said a spokeswoman for Google.