An Illinois state senator has proposed a bill that would make it illegal for motorists to wear Google Glass while driving.
Senator Ira Silverstein said he proposed the ban because he believes there are already enough gadgets that take drivers’ eyes off the road. Although he didn’t reference any specific studies, there is clear evidence that more drivers are taking their eyes off the road to text their friends and update their Facebook status.
The proposal comes on the heels of recent legislation aimed at making state roads safer. On January 1, Illinois enacted a law that prohibits the use of cell phones while driving unless the driver is using a hands-free device.
Silverstein is intent to move forward with his proposal, but the bill still has a few hurdles to climb. For starters, Google Glass is still in its beta stage and won’t be released to the public until later in the year, so there is little evidence that proves the device is a distraction. Also, since the glasses need to be turned on to access its features, it may be difficult for officers to prove that a driver was actively using the device at the time they were stopped.
Google believes the knocks against its product are being overhyped, and they claim that legislators wouldn’t be pushing for the ban if they simply tried the product for themselves.
Miriam Szatrowski comments
In the last few years, there has been a huge push by Illinois lawmakers to try to make roads safer and reduce traffic deaths. This includes the road signs on the highways with notices about construction, accidents, and the number of traffic deaths. It has also involved a number of new laws to combat excessive speeding and distracted driving. Illinois has outlawed texting while driving and the use of handheld cell phones, and this seems to be the next step in this trend.
However, enforcement may prove difficult. Google Glass is made to blend in and look similar to regular eyeglasses, so it will be hard for police to see from a distance whether someone is wearing it or not. In addition, there has been at least one case in California in which a driver’s ticket under a similar law was dismissed because the prosecutor was unable to prove that the device was turned on, and prosecutors here may run into similar problems.
Related source: WGN TV