Using your Apple Watch while driving could land you a ticket


Apple loves the idea that you get a lot of use out of your iPhone, but it doesn't want to be responsible for car crashes! This 2008 patent filing describes a Windows Phone-style
Using your Apple Watch while driving will carry the same penalties as using your phone.

Motoring experts in the UK have warned that individuals using their Apple Watch while driving will face the same penalties as those caught using a mobile phone.

The words of caution come from road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), reportedly backed up by the country’s Department of Transport.

In the United Kingdom, this would mean that a driver caught using their Apple Watch while driving faces a £100 ($163) fine and three penalty points on their license.

“An Apple Watch has the potential to be just as distracting as any other smartphone device, indeed more so if you have to take you hand off the wheel to interact with it,” an IAM spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

As to why it is only now that (after smart watches have already been around for a few years) that this is getting attention in a legal context, the spokesperson essentially backs up analyst reports that the Apple Watch could bring wearables into the mass market.

“The concern is that it’s Apple doing it. It’s now widely publicised and they become widespread. The concern is that despite more and more functions, drivers still need to be paying attention to their driving.” said the same IAM spokesman.

Given that the Apple Watch is essentially a computer in the form factor of a wristwatch (just as the iPhone was a computer in the form factor of a phone) it is no surprise that the technology would be subject to the same rules that would stop you using any other monitor when you drive.

Nonetheless it’s interesting to see how the law must constantly adapt as wearables become more widespread. Last year a Google Glass user in California became the first person in the world to receive a ticket for using the head-mounted technology while driving.

People who are desperate to use iOS while travelling can use Apple’s in-vehicle operating system iOS in the Car, which is currently in the process of being rolled out.


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