Google Glass is a computer in the form of eyeglasses. It contains a lens that displays information in a smartphone-like format, and can interact with the Internet via voice commands. The technology looks great and likely will spawn a new industry of wearable clothing and accessories that interact with the internet.
Admittedly, I’ve never seen a pair in person. However, I don’t need to have worn a pair to know that drivers should never wear them while operating a motor vehicle. The dangers of distracted driving are well known (almost 20% of all car accidents involve distracted driving), and certainly watching a tiny screen in your eyewear while driving a car would is extremely dangerous.
Under current New York law, using Google Glass while driving would not be illegal. The two statutes that govern distracted driving in New York are Vehicle and Traffic Law 1225-c and 1225-d. Section 1225-c makes it illegal to drive while using a cell phone without a hands-free device. Section 1225-d restricts drivers from using an electronic device that he or she is “holding”. Neither makes it illegal to drive while using Google Glass in the opinion of this NY traffic lawyer.
It took over a decade (and many accidents) for the NY Legislature to outlaw texting and driving. There is no reason to wait until Google Glass is actually released (let alone until someone is hurt) to limit its use. The definition of “use” in Section 1225-d could be expanded to include electronic devices that are worn or attached to a person. The New York Legislature should prophylactically enact legislation now to restrict drivers from wearing or using Google Glass while operating motor vehicles.