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  • $120 Fine Given to Apple Watch Owner for Using It While Driving


    A Quebec Apple Watch owner was fined $120 recently for operating on the Apple Watch while driving. Because of this, there was controversy over whether or not the wearable device should be considered a handheld device under traffic law. CTV Montreal reported that Jeffrey Macesin was pulled over and given a $120 ticket plus four license points for using the Apple Watch behind the wheel. Macesin noted that he was merely using his Apple Watch to change songs on a connected iPhone using the built-in Music app.

    According to Macesin,

    "It's not so much handheld. It's a watch. You know, it's on my wrist. That's where it gets controversial," Macesin said. "It's like, 'Is it? Is it not?' but I think this needs to be talked about."
    439.1 of the Quebec Highway Safety Code noted that while driving a vehicle, no one is allowed to use a handheld device including a phone function. However, Macesin’s iPhone was tucked away and was unreachable, so is his watch still considered a handheld device? Would everyone who was driving and tampering with their ‘normal’ watches get pulled over and given a ticket? If not, should the Apple Watch be treated any differently?

    Either way, we think this situation should be cleared up as soon as possible (even in the U.S.) as we are sure many people want to know what is considered ‘handheld’ and what isn’t. What are your thoughts on this matter and who’s side would you be on in this scenario? Share with us in the comments below.

    Source: CTV Montreal
    This article was originally published in forum thread: $120 Fine Given to Apple Watch Owner for Using It While Driving started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. peacedog's Avatar
      peacedog -
      True cost of ownership of an Apple Watch: $17120.
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      That's one. Now ticket the millions of others on the roads.

      Try saying the phrase "i was merely using it to change songs" when you are in court due to your neglect to the family members of the victim you killed because it's too difficult for you to just look out your windshield while driving a 2,000 pound hunk of metal.
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      So the law says specifically a “handheld device with phone function”? I think this guy should be able to fight this case with no problem.

      First, the watch is neither handheld nor does it have a phone function. Sure it can connect with your phone to make calls, but so can most cars with Bluetooth enabled stereo head units. So, technically, if this guy is busted for messing with his watch, anyone changing songs on their stereo that can connect with their phone is also breaking the law.

      Second, the law is clearly poorly written and needs revision. Not only for the reason of what I just mentioned, but also it means someone distracted with their phone is breaking the law, but if they are doing the same things on an iPod Touch without built in phone functions, or an iPad that has cellular but not phone functions, they can be as dangerously distracted as they one within the law.

      I agree people need to be less distracted, but at the same time I think they’re being unjustly persecuted. More and more cars are being enabled with all the same distracting features of our portable devices: music, video playback, phone functions, etc. If you have the money to buy a car with that stuff built in, you’re fine. But if you need to use a separate device, you’re breaking the law.

      Lawmakers need to take into consideration both built-in and separate devices when making these laws. But of course they never will since the automaker lobbyists stuffing their pockets will ensure they don’t.
    1. kickerman65's Avatar
      kickerman65 -
      Ridiculous. And yet you still see people eating things like hamburgers while driving and law enforcement has no problem with that. Whats the bigger distraction here?
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      Quote Originally Posted by exNavy View Post
      That's one. Now ticket the millions of others on the roads.

      Try saying the phrase "i was merely using it to change songs" when you are in court due to your neglect to the family members of the victim you killed because it's too difficult for you to just look out your windshield while driving a 2,000 pound hunk of metal.
      How is being distracted changing songs via your watch any worse than being distracted changing songs via your stereo headunit. If anything, the watch could be more safe because you can hold it up to keep your field of view on the road while looking at the watch screen, which is probably what this guy was doing and why he got busted.

      So the lesson here, don’t keep your eyes on the road when changing the radio, do it by looking down at your built-in stereo, so it’s all nice and legal, even if it’s not safe.
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      I think it's pretty clear cut. By definition of the wording of that law he shouldn't have been fined. A watch is not held in your hand. Case closed imo.
    1. Christophxr's Avatar
      Christophxr -
      But it wasn't hand-held. It's wrist-strapped.
    1. TheAccuser's Avatar
      TheAccuser -
      Quote Originally Posted by Christophxr View Post
      But it wasn't hand-held. It's wrist-strapped.
      That's what she said.