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Google Glass May be Banned in West Virginia Even Before Official Debut

First Posted: Mar 24, 2013 09:35 PM EDT
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Although Google Glass, the innovative eye-wear meets computer, has not officially hit the market - West Virginia legislators proposed a bill on Friday that would ban using a wearable computer with a head-mounted display while driving a car.

The legislation, introduced by Republican Gary G. Howell, would add Google Glass to current laws regarding texting while driving. Howell said the bill was inspired by a recent review of Google Glass by Cnet and he felt the new technology might pose a greater distraction to drivers.

While some will argue that Google Glass will actually help prevent the more dangerous handheld device texting by allowing the driver to continue to look at the road and use voice commands to text, the idea is that full attention is required while driving at all times and Google Glass may hinder that.

The proposed legislation would mean it would be banned together with cell phones and other electronic devices which are already banned from using while operating a motor vehicle. The first offense would result in a fine of $100. The second, third or subsequent offenses would cost $200 or $300, respectively.

Google Glass has already ruffled a few feathers in other settings leading it to be banned, though more for privacy concerns than for safety. Seattle's 5 Point Cafe announced it was banning the hi-tech eyewear earlier this month.

"Part of this is a joke, to be funny on Facebook, and get reaction," Cafe reps wrote, Gizmodo reported. "But part of it is serious, because we don't let people film other people or take photos unwanted of people in the bar, because it is kind of a private place that people go."

In response, Google has dismissed privacy concerns as people overreacting to unfamiliar technology.

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