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 (Canadian) fine after they caught him controlling his music using his Watch. Macesin tells CTV that he didn’t realize fiddling with his smartwatch was illegal under Quebec’s distracted-driving laws.
CTV notes that under Quebec laws, smartwatches fall somewhere between permitted Bluetooth-based hands-free 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.”
The story behind the story: 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. In that case, 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.