Illinois Could Become First US State To Ban Driving With Google Glass

As we inch closer to the launch of Google Glass for consumers, the legalities surrounding the device continue to come into question. In October, we relayed the story of a Californian driver who was pulled over for going over the speed limit, but before the officer wrapped things up, they added the charge of "driving with a monitor visible" because the driver was wearing Glass at the time.

That particular incident was a known first, and since then, nothing more has solidified on the legal front (the driver's court appearance takes place at the end of the month). At the time this story broke, many had drawn comparisons of Glass to other "visible" displays in a vehicle, including some that are preinstalled and aim to assist the driver (eg: GPS, rear parking cameras, etc).

Well, in Illinois this past week, state Senator Ira Silverstein filed legislation that would bar motorists from "using Google Glass" while driving. I use quotes there because the wording isn't too clear. Given the situation noted above, however, it seems likely that "using" would equate to simply wearing it, otherwise it'd be impossible to prove that you were, in fact, utilizing the device at the time. Unlike a GPS, you don't need to turn your head to use Glass.

Some drivers who happen to own Google Glass have spoken up over the past couple of months to assure everyone else that Glass does not distract a driver, so if Google wants to make sure that its device doesn't suffer such legal bans, it's going to have to chime in. Like phone usage while driving, though, it might only take an accident or two to kick-off events that could see Glass treated the same as a mobile device while driving.