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UK drivers to be banned from wearing Google Glass

Those hoping to use the long-awaited Google Glass specs to capture their road trip from a driver’s eye perspective or have directions delivered to their eyeline, will be falling foul of the law by doing so.

The UK’s Department for Transport has told it is moving proactively to ban the use of the futuristic AR specs, on grounds that they could prevent drivers focusing on the task at hand.

The DfT told the site that Glass is likely to fall under the same category as mobile phones, the use of which has been banned while driving since 2003. That will mean a fine of £60 (scheduled to go up to £90 under new plans) for anyone caught wearing the device behind the wheel.

A spokesperson for the government department said: 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.

“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 range of offences and penalties already exist to tackle those drivers who do not pay proper attention to the road including careless driving which will become a fixed penalty offence later this year.”

The ban rules out a number of potentially useful aspects of the device for drivers. For example, route information in the eye-line, notifications of places of interest and upcoming traffic warnings may have been helpful.

Google responded to the news by issuing a statement, which read: “We are thinking very carefully about how we design Glass because new technology always raises new issues. Our Glass Explorer programme, currently only launched in the US, reaches people from all walks of life and will ensure that our users become active participants in shaping the future of this technology.”

Do you think it’s right to make driving while wearing Google Glass an offence? It’s arguable that having a device you’re able to issue voice commands to and see within your field of vision rather than on the dashboard or in your lap would be less of a distraction than a traditional satnav device. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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