Another day, another story about Google Glass and states considering bans. This time, Wyoming is the state considering a ban on driving with Google Glass, and it isn’t hard to see why. With the rise of smart devices, we’ve seen a major push to cut down on distracted driving, with texting while driving being banned in many states across the US. With that in mind, it seems only natural that legislators would turn their attention to Google Glass before everyone and their mother is walking around with a pair of the smart glasses planted firmly on their heads.
According to Reuters, Democratic state Senator Floyd Esquibel has written a bill that would ban wearable computers behind the wheel, making Wyoming the seventh state in the Union to consider such legislation. Esquibel is responsible for Wyoming’s ban on texting while driving, which passed back in 2010, so it’s little surprise that he’s pushing to ban Google Glass as well. Interesting as it may seem, the bill might not be able to make it through the Senate when it’s eventually considered, even though it seems like a no brainer if the aim is to keep people paying attention to the road. That’s because the Wyoming state Senate is currently in the control of Republicans, and they typically aren’t fans of the government introducing new regulations.
In any case, Reuters asked Google how it feels about this kind of legislation, with the company saying “Glass is built to connect you more with the world around you, not distract you from it.” That isn’t much of an answer, but it does suggest that Google would understand bans on using the device while driving. This news of pending legislation in Wyoming comes just a couple of weeks after we heard that a California Explorer by the name of Cecilia Abadie found out she wouldn’t have to the pay a fine after being ticketed for driving while wearing Glass. The judge said there wasn’t any proof that the device was actually operational while she was driving and threw out the fine. We can probably expect more states to adopt legislation like the bill Esquibel is presenting, if only to avoid court cases like the one in California in the future. Stay tuned.