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Wyoming joins the Google Glass driving backlash

Ms Abadie walked free, but now Wyoming is moaning
Thu Jan 30 2014, 14:07
The Google Glass display box sits on the top right hand side on the eyewear

SPARSELY POPULATED Wyoming has become the latest American state threatening to outlaw wearing Google Glass behind the wheel.

Wyoming state Senator Floyd Esquibel has drafted a bill that will be considered in February.

Senator Esquibel, who presumably does not own a satnav, told Reuters, "Common sense would tell you that you really don't need to look at a little computer while driving, that it endangers you, your passengers and other drivers."

The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that this brings the number of states considering bans on driving while wearing Google Glass to seven, with Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia also considering legislation.

The issue was brought into focus by the case of California resident Cecilia Abadie, who was ticketed but later acquitted for using Glass behind the wheel after a judge ruled that there was no evidence that the device was switched on at the time.

Thus the law on wearables remains unclear in the US. Google advises its Glass Explorers, "Above all, even when you're following the law, don't hurt yourself or others by failing to pay attention to the road," but continues to maintain that wearing Glass eyewear behind the wheel is appropriate.

In the UK, a police representative told The INQUIRER, "Regulation 109 of the Construction and Use (motor vehicle) Regulations makes it an offence to drive a motor vehicle on a road if the driver can see whether directly or by reflection any cinematographic apparatus used to display anything other than information about the state of vehicle, to assist the driver to see the road ahead or adjacent to him/her or to navigate to his/her destination."

It's not clear that law still appropriate in its present form in 2014. Such debates will continue, and with Glass expected to reach commerical release later this year, time is fast running out for gaining clarity. µ


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