While still unavailable to the general public, about 10,000 Google Glasses, glasses with lenses that allow users to take photos, web chat, use a GPS and check email, have been distributed across the U.S. to “explorers.”
One explorer in San Diego, Cecelia Abadie, was wearing Google Glass while driving last Tuesday and was stopped for speeding. In addition to her speeding ticket, she received the same citation given to drivers distracted by a video or TV screen, according to the Associated Press. Abadie plans to fight the citation.
By James Baker, COLUMNIST
Google Glass is the next revolutionary form of communication technology.
While this new technology is very “hands free,” it is not “mind free” and can easily still cause distractions while driving and should be illegal.
Though Abadie plans to fight back on her added citation by claiming that the law is not specific enough and that Google Glass isn’t incorporated in that section of that law, laws cannot constantly stay up to date with new technology. In this instance, it was obviously more of a distraction than a safety tool.
In reality, we are all too distracted when it comes to driving, and Google Glass is just a fancier way to become distracted. Though you don’t need your hands to operate the device and you can look through them and see the road as you drive, the biggest part of concentration is your brain.
According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 1.6 million car crashes in 2010 resulted because of cellphone usage, and 1.4 million of them were actually talking on their phones, not texting. This just shows that even when not visually impaired, the mind can be distracted and it affects ones driving ability.
With texting laws just now being implemented in Florida, legislators will need to start creating new legislation to ban Google Glass while driving. The glasses create new distractions for the driver that could endanger not only the individual wearing them, but also anyone else on the road.
By Ali Leist, COLUMNIST
There’s no doubt that texting while driving is extremely unsafe, due to the nature of taking your eyes off the road while operating a vehicle. However, just having your phone within reach should not pose as a reason for a citation.
In a sense, Abadie’s citation is about as unfair as receiving a citation for having a cellphone turned on and within reach, but not using it. Just wearing Google Glass should not pose as a safety hazard or be a reason for a ticket.
California has had a law prohibiting the use of electronic wireless devices since January 2009.
The law specifically states that drivers are required to use hands-free equipment while talking on their cellphones, and it is an infraction to write, send or read text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device, such as a cellphone, while driving a motor vehicle.
California’s law is fair — looking down at your phone is most certainly a driving hazard. The issue at hand is that Abadie’s citation gives a new interpretation of the law. This interpretation can be simplified to mean that anyone with a cellphone in sight, using it or not, should receive a citation. That is simply outrageous and does not comply with the actual law.
Florida recently enacted a no-texting-and-driving law in October that will probably be up for revision when the Google Glass product expands. Abadie’s citation is probably only the first of many across the U.S. with similar laws as Google Glass makes a larger appearance.