Lawmakers to Pump Brakes on Drivers Sporting Google Glass

Bill introduced that would extend texting-while-driving law

If you planned on getting behind the wheel of a car sporting Google Glass, think again. Before Google’s highly-anticipated invention even hits the market, West Virginia lawmakers are looking to put a halt on driving with the Glass product.

In an effort to keep all drivers safe behind the wheel, West Virginia Legislature Republican Gary G. Howell proposed a bill that would prohibit “using a wearable computer with head mounted display,” which would extend the state law forbidding texting while driving (or using a phone without a hands-free kit).

Howell told CNET that he’s a fan of the concept, but has to protect the “no-texting-and-driving law” and those most at-risk of breaking the regulation. “It is mostly the young that are the tech-savvy that try new things,” said Howell. “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.”

A Google representative responded to the concerns raised in the West Virginia bill.

“We are putting a lot of thought into the design of Glass because new technologies always raise new issues,” a Google spokesperson told tech-news site Mashable. “We actually believe there is tremendous potential to improve safety on our roads and reduce accidents. As always, feedback is welcome.”

West Virginia isn’t the only state looking to ban Google Glass in some shape or form. The owner of the 5 Point Café in Seattle, Washington wants to protect the privacy of his patrons, so he preemptively banned people from wearing Google Glass in his establishment.

Google’s autonomous cars are also causing states to evaluate the role technology plays in everyday life. Nevada, followed by California, is allowing Google to have their driverless cars on state roads, just as long as a human is behind the wheel.

What do you think? Is it unsafe for drivers to wear Google Glass while operating a vehicle? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

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