A driver from Pincourt is $120 poorer and 4 demerit points richer thanks to his Apple Watch.
Jeffrey Macesin claims he was pulled over as he was attempting to change songs with the electronic device.
The citation referenced Section 439.1 of the Quebec Highway Safety Code, which bans the use of any “hand-held device that includes a telephone function” while driving a car. Many US states have similar laws on the books to reduce distracted driving, but the question remains, does that verbiage describe a smartwatch? It’s not really handheld. If anything, it’s sort of “wrist-mounted.”
Macesin was ticketed for actually using the watch, but what constitutes “using” a smartwatch? It’s straightforward with a phone — are you touching the screen? Okay, you’re using it. A smartwatch wakes up when you tilt your wrist, it shows you information, and on Android Wear, you can even navigate the interface by flicking your wrist. It was even murkier with Google Glass.
Whatever you’re doing with a smartwatch, it’s probably more distracting than not doing anything, but I don’t think you can ever practically stop people from doing non-driving things while driving. Using a smartwatch to change songs or reply to a message seems less dangerous than using a phone or fiddling with a Bluetooth headset. It takes time for laws to catch up to technology, so maybe everyone will eventually decide watches are okay. In the meantime, be careful with that watch.
So would I get a ticket if I change song from my steering wheel controls or touch the screen in my car?
What about eating, drinking, shaving, putting on lipstick, mascara, etc? And screeming kids? Smoking? Not to speak of people still using cellphones …
The point of the law is to eliminate distracted driving, but society won’t learn a lesson until someone is killed.
Society doesn’t learn when someone dies. If that was the case we wouldn’t have drinking and driving, distracted driving, alcohol abuse, or war. Society can’t keep everyone alive and some people obviously make dumb decisions over their lives and the lives of others.