No Google Glassing-and-driving ban likely this year

West Virginia's House Committee fails to discuss the bill recommending making it illegal to wear Google Glass while driving. This means the state will likely not enact a ban this year.

Will this really become the norm? Even in West Virginia? Noah Zerkin/Twitter With Permission

Those who were planning road trips in West Virginia were worried.

Especially those who were included in Google's list of eminent and lucky people who would be the explorers of Google's wonderful, breakthrough (and possibly insane) eyeglasses known as Google Glass.

For a Republican legislator had proposed a bill -- after reading just one Technically Incorrect post -- that would ban anyone in the state from wearing Google's glasses and driving.

Gary. G. Howell explained very cogently that he was not against the invention, but that he feared it would be just as distracting as texting. And West Virginia has a significant problem with texting drivers causing accidents.

His bill, though, H.B. 3057, will likely not pass this year.

The House Committee sat today, but progress seemed to head in a direction that might be driven by a Google Glasser-and-driver who had his eyes shut.

Howell told me: "The coverage of the bill was discussed in the House Committee on Roads and Transportation today, but the bill was not."

This has serious implications for the bill's enactment.

"It should be dead for the year barring a special committee meeting between now and Monday," Howell said.

This will be Beethoven's Violin Concerto to all those who believe that these glasses are something they describe as "the future."

It will also be, no doubt, uplifting for those 8,000 fortunate souls who have secured the privilege of giving Google $1,500 in exchange for being among the first to wear these unaesthetic nose-adornings.

I can just imagine some of them going out of their way and driving to West Virginia, simply to snub their bejeweled noses at the local politicians.

Howell, for his part, told me that the general feeling among his fellow lawmakers was that "we are going to have to look at the impact Google Glass and similar will have."

My engineer friend George happened to be in a restaurant at the weekend, where a diminutive employee from Google was eating a lettuce leaf and a cornichon.

The Google employee was wearing his novelty spectacles. George asked to try them on. He told me: "They're not a distraction. You really do have turn your eye to focus on the information."

George, however, is an engineer. He is slightly more bright and adroit than the average human. And many accidents have been caused by the turning of an eye toward a billboard or a girl scout.

It seems that, with no other legislature prepared to voice an opinion about Google Glass, we must now be prepared for some very strangely focused drivers hurtling toward us, while simultaneously eying the box score from a Houston Rockets game.

The next few months will represent a pulsating time for Google's wearable tech.

I wonder who will be the first to have his Google Glass stolen and who will be the first to be assaulted in a McDonald's , just because he looks a little odd.

 

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