A lawmaker from West Virginia named Gary G Howell wants to ban the use of Google Glass and similar products while driving. Howell is a Republican member of the West Virginia Legislature and believes that Google Glass and similar products pose a danger to drivers. He goes so far as to say that a driver using something like Google Glass while driving poses a similar risk, if not more significant risk to drivers than texting and driving.

Howell has proposed legislation that would issue heavy fines against drivers using Google Glass while they drive around the streets and highways in West Virginia. The first offense will cost drivers $100. Each additional offense will add an additional $100 to the original fine. That means a second offense will cost $200, a third offense $300, and so on.

Lawmakers believe that products like Google Glass pose great danger, especially to younger drivers. How will says if his legislation fails to become law, he believes that similar bills would be filed by other legislatures. Not everyone agrees with this legislation. Some believe that products like Google Glass could help reduce driver distraction in a method similar to how some vehicles with heads up displays allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

Odds are even if this legislation becomes law, it will have little effect on most people. Google Glass is expected to be very expensive at launch meaning few people will adopt the tech early on. However, years down the road when wearable computing devices are more common this legislation could impact a number of drivers.

[via SlashGear]

  • Wouldn’t that require teaching WV to read 1st?

    • That was dumb Jim. Im a Google fan but this device should be banned just about everywhere or we risk all reasonable expectation of privacy as well.

      • Joe Martinson

        same with regular cameras, recorders, cellphones, surveillance cameras, etc…. right? If you are in public then you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. There are already spy camera stuff out there in glasses, pens, buttons and more. Some people have them on their cars, too. If they want to me make the privacy enthusiasts happy they should then just put the little red light on there for people to know it is recording. If a private establishment wants to ban them(like a bar or club) then that is fine and their individual decision to make, but that isn’t “just about everywhere”

      • Magnus100

        Then they should also ban you from using your phone because it has a camera.

      • I think this is on a different level as you don’t know when people are recording. Your comparing apples and oranges. If you want to say well people can hide and take pictures and videos with their cameras then that is just a little sick and twisted to begin with.

  • Blackhemi

    Getting pretty darn tired of lawmakers. BUTT OUT!

    • Yeah laws are dumb because we have done such a great job governing ourselves. =

  • ixpix


  • scottii

    Only in West VA. >_<

  • boonesimpson

    I think we should wait to see the how the product functions in the real world prior to banning them.
    (Remember the govt banned furbies on Military bases because it thought they learned/recorded speech?)

    Moreover, there is likely already a law on the books dealing with driving distractions…such as texting.

    However if it proves a nuisance while driving, as texting has, then yes perhaps banning Glass while driving makes sense.

    I see it as being a possible ENHANCEMENT to driving, imagine not having to lean over to change songs, change gps directions, mute a call (or take it hands free), a constant speedometer in your FOV.

    Google Glass is the first consumer Head-Up-Display that has a real shot at working. Lets not ban them before we know what they will / won’t do lest we banish Glass to the same niche market as Segways.

  • Or, since Glass is still in beta, they could add a feature where if it determines you’re travelling over say 10mph it turns off certain features? Just an idea, no need to get all legislature-y.

    • boonesimpson

      skydivers, snowboarders, etc, who are a prime market for these, would be unable to use them.

      I like the idea though, maybe a system that locks them when you are in the car, similar to how teens have their texting disabled in some vehicles.

  • Kimberley

    Well, OF COURSE using the device poses a hazard. It’s already been proven that just talking on the phone, even hands-free, makes for slower reaction times and increased risk of accidents. We know texting is even worse. So, it’s not exactly a leap to say that looking at something in the field of vision, even semi-transparent, would be a huge distraction. Good for WV on being proactive. I’m a big fan of Google and its innovations, but totally see the need to have safety laws regarding their use.

  • Magnus100

    Darned law makers, they never create any thing yet they continue to stand in the way of innovation