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Texting while driving is BANNED from today. Could Google Glass be the next deadly distraction?

54 per cent of drivers said the devices should be banned for all drivers…

Image: Seth Wenig/AP/Press Association Images

TEXTING WHILE DRIVING is banned outright from today.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar signed regulation last month to clear up a potential loophole in the area.

While existing legislation said drivers couldn’t operate a phone while driving — he said the law hadn’t been 100 per cent clear as to whether that applied to sending a text or searching the web while the phone was in the cradle.

A survey carried out earlier this year found that texting was cited by over ten per cent of drivers as the activity that caused most “near misses” on the roads.

With that loophole now closed, some motorists have been speculating that Google Glass could be the next deadly distraction.

Expected to come to the market in Ireland sometime in the next year or so — the lightweight computerised specs feature a transparent video display that allows the wearer to make calls, search the internet and check emails, all via voice command.

54 per cent of respondents to a survey carried out by AA Ireland said they thought the devices should be banned for all road users — including cyclists and pedestrians. A further 19 per cent said they would reserve judgement until they could be tested properly.

It’s expected the Google devices will, in fact, be outlawed once they come on the market in Ireland. In response to a query from TheJournal.ie last year, the Department of Transport said it was concerned that use of the technology in its current form could distract drivers “and therefore could represent a safety hazard”.

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It said consultations were under way with the Road Safety Authority, gardaí and “other key stakeholders” ahead of issuing a formal policy decision.

“Google Glass is one development but the over-riding principle is that you cannot use any technology in a stupid and dangerous way,” AA Ireland’s Conor Faughnan said.

“That is as true for a razor or lipstick as it is for the latest smart device.”

Read: Banned: Texting while driving now ‘completely prohibited’

Read: Varadkar ‘loves’ trains – and won’t be closing ‘dozens’ of rural lines 

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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