I’ve written about the risks that Google Glass present to motorcyclists here, and recently on MotorcycleUSA.com, here. I thought people would find that column pretty boring, but it picked up an above-average 400+ ‘likes’, so maybe I’m not the only guy worried about the road safety implications.
|Google founder Sergei Brin recently got married. He posed for wedding photos while wearing Google glasses. Proof, if nothing else, that money can't buy taste.|
Notwithstanding the fact that the first such distracted driving case was just thrown out of court in San Diego county, at least eight U.S. states are considering legislation that would make it illegal for glassholes to drive.
Now a Reuters report out of San Francisco (I noticed it on Canada’s Globe and Mail web site) tells us that Google’s actively lobbying at least three of those states—Illinois, Delaware, and Missouri—not to restrict distracted driving by glassholes.
The details of Google’s lobbying program are incredibly infuriating, and prove just how disingenuous the company is, as well as how willing they are to pro-actively increase the danger to all American road users.
Google’s making three arguments: The first is, they’re citing the San Diego case as evidence that the courts have already shown that they are disinclined to regulate Google Glass.
That’s not true: The San Diego case was thrown out because one judge decided that he couldn’t determine whether or not the glasshole’s device was on or not. The defendant actually only claimed it was in ‘sleep’ mode, and an alert prosecutor might have changed the outcome of the case by pointing out that all it takes to wake the device up is a tilt of the user’s head. I.E., you could wake the device up while driving without even wanting to. Even if the device is off, I have an issue with drivers intentionally blocking that much peripheral vision. Right side shoulder checks? Not so much.
I think the whole, but-it-was-off argument is analogous to some Montana cowboy driving with a couple of beers in his system, and an open beer in his hand. OK, he’s not over 0.08% blood alcohol, but who really thinks that should be legal?
The second argument Google makes with its lobbying is, it’s too early to restrict use. Since there are only a few thousand devices in circulation, they can’t possibly constitute a threat worth regulating.
Those fuckers. So, we should wait until there are millions of them in use, and all those glassholes are writing enraged letters to their legislators? Maybe we should let the liquor industry, and especially heavy drinkers, rewrite our DUI laws, too.
Last but not least, Google’s coyly bleating that “[Google Glass] is not meant to distract but rather connect people more with the world around them.”
BULL FUCKING SHIT! If drivers want to "connect" with the road and drivers around them, they’ll take the glasses off. Wearing the glasses connects them with distant and virtual parts of the world. That’s the DEFINITION of distraction. They'll connect alright; by physically smashing into pieces of the world, along with cars, motorcycles, bicycles and people.
According to Reuters, Google says that tech issues [read: attracting tech investment] are a big part of current policy discussions in the states. “We think it is important to be part of those discussions.”
Translation: Us and Apple have, basically, about half the money in the U.S. If you want us to invest in your state, keep your lawmakers away from our products.