West Virginia Looking To Outlaw Google Glasses

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This may be one of the most bizarre things so far this year in politics.  Although with politics, that’s obviously an extremely subjective call to make.

Lawmakers in West Virginia have proposed legislation that would make it illegal to wear heads-up displays like Google Glass (aka “Google Glasses”) while driving.  These augmented reality devices, not yet available on the market, are seen as a potential threat and a possible future cause of distracted driving.

The law was introduced during debates over a proposed Distracted Driving bill making its way through the West Virginia legislature.  It was prompted by articles about Google Glass on CNET, according to one lawmaker who contacted the tech news outlet.

The law doesn’t call out Google Glass specifically, but instead makes it illegal to drive while using a “wearable computer with head-mounted display.”  Sort of a generic description of Google Glasses, it appears.  West Virginia lawmakers are, by reports, proposing the ban in order to proactively protect younger drivers, which they see as more likely to own the glasses and to use them while driving.

The legislator who brought this to the attention of CNET seems a little disjointed in his reasoning, claiming, according to CNET, that “when I choose to use the Google Glass and cross the center-line of the road because I’m reading a text, then my actions affect someone else.” This, he says, is justification for banning the glasses while driving.  All while saying he’s a “libertarian.”  Presumably with a straight face.

Whether or not the law would apply to someone in Google Car driving itself while wearing the glasses is up for debate.