“Jeffrey Macesin received a $120 ticket and four demerit points after he was pulled over by the Surete du Quebec for wearing a smartwatch,” CTV Montreal reports. “Macesin said he was shocked when he was pulled over because he didn’t think he was breaking the law.”
“The self-described gadget lover said he thought he was permitted to watch his new Apple Watch while driving, so long as he wasn’t tapping away on his smartphone,” CTV Montreal reports. “‘I have it in the bag charging while the auxiliary cable is plugged in to the radio and this controls my phone to play the music. So I was changing songs with my hand on the steering wheel,’ said Macesin, who was leaving Pincourt heading to Highway 20.”
“Macesin was pulled over and slapped with the ticket under Section 439.1 of the Quebec Highway Safety Code that reads: ‘No person may, while driving a road vehicle, use a hand-held device that includes a telephone function,'” CTV Montreal reports. “Lawyer Avi Levy specializes in fighting cases involving traffic violations. ‘I’m not convinced that the Apple Watch itself is a phone. It’s rather a Bluetooth device that communicates a telephone signal from the phone and it has been established in the law that you’re allowed to use Bluetooth devices and it doesn’t constitute an infraction,’ he said.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: New laws will need to be written, that much is sure. Currently, any even halfway decent lawyer should be able to raher quickly and decisively prove that an Apple Watch is akin to a Bluetooth earpiece strapped to your wrist, not a phone. As far as using Apple Watch as a remote to change songs, is it illegal to use your car stereo’s or steering wheel’s buttons to change songs?
We will restate what we wrote earlier this month in response to Walt Mossberg’s Apple Watch review: Mossberg’s advice to resist the temptation to use the Watch while driving (beyond navigation of course) is a good one: “If you buy any smartwatch, be prepared to be more careful on the road.” We’ve found that to be very true.