W.Va. bill bans Google Glass while driving

By: Jazmin Bailey Email
By: Jazmin Bailey Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Google Glass, Google's new internet-connected glasses, are not even on the market but they already face opposition in the state capital.

West Virginia Delegate Gary Howell, R-Mineral, has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to drive while wearing Google Glass in the state.

"When I started looking at it, this qualified as a hands-free device but defeated the very purpose of our state law," Howell said.

Google Glass is essentially a wearable computer. The glasses allow users to text, record video, take pictures and surf the web. A mini display screen in the top right corner allows them to view their search, text or images.

The glasses also have turn-by-turn navigation. Google has said that tool will keep drivers safe on the roads because they won't have to use their hands. Howell said he isn't convinced.

"They could be using GPS, which is not a bad idea for it, but if they're watching cat videos, reading text or even dictating a word document...we don't want people doing that while they're driving down the road."

The bill has to make it out of committee by Monday in order to have a chance of becoming law. Howell said chances are slim that will happen, but he has a plan.

"I can reintroduce it in the following session, which will be January 2014, but we can also do an interim study. We might even have Google come in and demonstrate it for us," Howell said.

If the bill were to pass during this session, the law would take effect July 1, 2013.

First-time offenders would be fined $100.


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