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August 1, 2013

U.K. Issues Ban on Drivers Wearing Glass

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In a pre-emptive strike, the U.K.’s Department for Transport is issuing a ban on Google Glass behind the wheel months before the wearable computing devices are set to hit the market.

“It is important that drivers give their full attention to the road when they are behind the wheel and do not behave in a way that stops them from observing what is happening on the road,” a department spokesman told the Telegraph.

“We are aware of the impending rollout of Google Glass and are in discussion with the police to ensure that individuals do not use this technology while driving.”

West Virginia state Rep. Gary G. Howell has been striving to do the same in his state.

The state legislator introduced a bill earlier this year that proposes a ban on the use of computerized head-gear, such as Glass, while driving.

The ban, according to the bill, will include any “computing device which is worn on the head and projects visual information into the field of vision of the wearer.”

Violation of the law would result in a $100 fine for a first offense. A second offense would force the driver to cough up $200, while a third offense would result in a $300 fine. Police officers would not be permitted, however, to confiscate wearable computerized devices such as Google Glass.

The bill has been tabled for future discussion.

Google has already sold more than 8,000 of the wearable devices which are capable of recording video, snapping photos, acting as a GPS and performing Internet searches, all hands-free.

Google officially unveiled the glasses — which currently are in beta — during its I/O conference last summer. At that time, the headset, which was controlled by head movements, had video and audio capability and a built-in compass and accelerometer. A lot of improvements have been made since then and, when Glass goes on the market in 2014, consumers can expect to see a lot of improvements and additions to the device.