Canadian Apple Watch user busted for Watch-ing while driving

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2 June 2015 | 0

If you live in a jurisdiction that has distracted-driving laws, you might want to think twice before you attend to your smartwatch while driving. According to CTV News, police in Quebec ticketed a man for using his Apple Watch while behind the wheel.

Police slapped Jeffrey Macesin with a $120 fine after they caught him controlling his music using his Watch. Macesin tells CTV that he didn’t realise fiddling with his smartwatch was illegal under Quebec’s distracted driving laws.

CTV notes that under Quebec laws, smartwatches fall somewhere between permitted Bluetooth devices and “handheld device[s] that [include] a telephone function,” which are explicitly banned behind the wheel in Quebec. For his part, CTV reports, Macesin will challenge the ticket and “is considering hiring a lawyer to represent him in the case”.

Although most jurisdictions with distracted driving laws enacted them with phones in mind, this isn’t the first time someone has been cited for using a non-phone device while driving. In 2013, a California woman named Cecilia Abadie received a citation for driving while wearing Google Glass. Abadie challenged the citation and a San Diego court dismissed that case due to a lack of evidence.

This likely won’t be the last case like this, and it may only be a matter of time before jurisdictions update existing distracted driving laws to more explicitly take other electronic devices into account.


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