Canadian Man Fined for Using Apple Watch When Driving

Discussion in 'Apple Watch News' started by Maura, May 29, 2015.

  1. Maura

    Maura Moderator Staff Member

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    Canadian man fined for using Apple Watch when driving.JPG

    Before the Apple Watch launched there was much speculation as to how much of a distraction it would be when driving, and also how using an Apple Watch behind the wheel would be viewed by the authorities in those countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom where using mobile devices when driving is banned.

    Well now we have the answer, with Phone Arena reporting that a driving in Quebec, Canada, has been fined $120 with four points on his license for using his Apple Watch when driving.

    Jeffrey Macesin (pictured) told CTV News that when he was stopped by the Quebec police he was using the Apple Watch to scroll through songs, with his iPhone safely (or so he thought) stowed away in his bag. The police officers found him in breach of section 439.1 of the Quebec Highway Safety Code, which bans use of “a handheld device that includes a telephone function.”

    Macesin feels that the Apple Watch is not a hand-held device, and is therefore contesting his fine, saying that it is in fact a Bluetooth device, use of which is permitted when driving in Quebec.

    Source: Canadian driver fined 120 for using Apple Watch behind the wheel
     
  2. scifan57

    scifan57 Administrator Staff Member

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    The only problem with his argument is that you have to look at the screen of the Apple Watch instead of the road ahead when scrolling through your song list. In addition, although it didn't happen in this case, the Apple Watch can make and receive phone calls when connected to the iPhone.
     
  3. twerppoet

    twerppoet Well-Known Member

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    The device spans the acceptable and unacceptable range of distraction. Glancing and the time, a notification, or using Siri to change song playlists is probably acceptable. What he was doing was not. In a way it's a shame. This case is likely to set the precedent for smart watch use while driving, at least in Canada, and given that he was clearly in the wrong, it may result in excessively strict enforcement.
     
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  4. scifan57

    scifan57 Administrator Staff Member

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    Part of the problem here is that laws are not advancing as fast as technology. It's unfortunate that the Apple Watch has been caught up in this but if a piece of technology can be used in a potentially dangerous way someone will find a way to do it.
     
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  5. twerppoet

    twerppoet Well-Known Member

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    Laws always lag technology, and just about everything else. Laws are reactive. To be fair, on the rare occasion when someone tries to pass a law to head off a potential problem it is almost always a bad idea; born of fear and uncertainty rather than a well thought out plan. If there had been a speed limit for the first cars it would have probably been what a horse could do at a quick trot. Galloping, after all, is reckless.
     
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