Man fined $120 for using his Apple Watch while driving

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by ericgtr12, May 29, 2015.

  1. ericgtr12 macrumors 6502a

    ericgtr12

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    Mar 19, 2015
    #1
    Guess it was just a matter of time. Arguably, controlling any function on the watch requires hand to wrist and seems more risky than one handed use of the iPhone. Not that it justifies the use at all when driving though.

    http://www.geek.com/apple/canadian-man-fined-120-for-using-his-apple-watch-while-driving-1623841/
     
  2. DynaFXD macrumors 6502a

    DynaFXD

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    #2
    It's not the manipulation of the device(s) that is the problem. It is the splitting of your attention between multiple active thought processes (as oppose to passive, like listening to the radio) that does the damage. The human brain just doesn't multi-task despite what folks would like to believe. If you want to use the watch for taptic notification to pull over and check a message or email, fine. But don't think it is any better than hands-free calling or fumbling with a phone (as you elude to) which are equally bad. When you're driving: drive, and enjoy a respite from the need to communicate with others not in your immediate vicinity. Pull over if you just have to talk right there and then.
     
  3. DynamicSausage macrumors 6502

    DynamicSausage

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    #3
    I suppose it kind of depends how he was using it. Sitting there drawing, reading messages etc whilst driving is asking for trouble and you should expect tickets to be normal.

    If the watch was casually on his wrist, perhaps using it as a hands free then there shouldn't be a problem as (in the UK at least) hands free phone calls are perfectly fine.

    Presumably though he was fully engrossed because he would have to be to actually be noticed and in turn, pulled over. Good.
     
  4. Roessnakhan macrumors 68040

    Roessnakhan

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    #4
    The only reason I can see using your watch while driving would be if you're using it truly hands free with "Hey Siri." If the guy was doing anything else then it's good he got ticketed.
     
  5. bbeagle macrumors 68040

    bbeagle

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    #5
    But the laws are written so loosely, that 'technically' if you're just looking at the time, it would be a crime.

    Looking at the time on a Rolex - fine - no problem. Looking at the time on an Apple Watch - you're breaking the law.

    (This is because Apple Watches have the ability to make phone calls, and this is the wording in many of the state laws - others use the term 'handheld device' - which the Apple Watch is not, so I guess you can play games on it and be okay?)
     
  6. Roessnakhan macrumors 68040

    Roessnakhan

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    #6
    Oh, I get that it's murky waters.

    I suppose I would need more detail on the traffic stop, but how long is too long to look at the watch before it becomes (1) noticeable to others and (2) is obvious you're not just looking at the time?
     
  7. DynaFXD macrumors 6502a

    DynaFXD

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    #7
    That's not true. At least in the enforcement end. You'll never get a ticket for looking at your watch for the time. Be it a mechanical or smart watch. If you listen to police officers, they talk citing folks that are having full on conversations and/or are completely oblivious to their situation when using their smart device. That's who they are out citing and what will past muster in front of a judge.
    And to the point of "full hands free; 'Her Siri' ", don't kid ourselves. That is just as distracting as other forms of electronic communications and requires active thought involvement. The auto industry is doing a great job is selling their hands free electronics services as a safe alternative. They're not. When we are driving a 3,000 lbs+ vehicle, how about we use all our faculties for that task and save the rest of the world on the road from our need to "be in touch" at all times.
    Sorry for for getting on a soap box about this. :( But we have cell phone laws in this state that are hardly enforced. I drop my kids off at school and see all the *&^% parents looking at their (*&^amn cell phones as they leave the parking lot. Bunch of selfish, self absorbed m*&^%$ers. /rant off.
     
  8. Applenoob34 macrumors regular

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    Feb 18, 2014
    #8
    He was changing a song from his watch. Why is that different from changing the radio station?
     
  9. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #9
    it won't stand up in court unless the provincial government in Quebec has already amended their smartphone legislation to include smartwatches.

    (Highway traffic act in Canada is Provincial, not Federal - each Province has their own).

    I think you're going to find we'll eventually have legislation that states that if you're using it in a "hands free" manner, to better keep your attention on the road, you're fine. (ala. "Hey Siri" as well as using the taptic notifications for turn by turn directions).
    What won't be ok is reading texts, etc - things that will divert your eyes from the road.

    Until they amend legislation, this isn't covered...not yet.
     
  10. ericgtr12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ericgtr12

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    #10
    The watch is essentially a two handed operation.
     
  11. JosephAW macrumors 65816

    JosephAW

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    #11
    Man ticketed for using apple watch

    http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/pincourt-man-fined-120-for-using-apple-watch-while-driving-1.2394293
     
  12. AtheistP3ace macrumors 6502a

    AtheistP3ace

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  13. DynaFXD macrumors 6502a

    DynaFXD

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    #13
    If you were to ask me:
    Radio - Big button or knob labeled "Tune". Reach, push/twist, end.
    Watch - Check what screen I'm on, slide glance up, slide glance left, lecft again, am I there yet? Check small type, glare, look harder, no, glance left again. There it is, where precisely does my finger need to go? Look more, damn the light is bad, I'll lean back, there it is, push to change. Meanwhile, I hope I didn't cream a biker while I'm going through all of that just to change a station, because progress.

    FWIW, I do agree that some cars are making their systems to be so damn complex as to not be much better than a the work flow on a predictable watch. So I am not totally opposed to your view point. But a dynamic, changing interface like on an AW is a lot more distracting to work than a big, static knob or button, IMO. So I do see an over all difference.
     
  14. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    #14
    But even then, you may have to take your hand off the wheel to activate the screen, and/or move the watch closer to your face in order to to improve clarity with Siri. And since Siri only responds by text (or haptic feedback), you'll have to focus on the watch to read her response depending on what you want her to do, to know whether it did it or not. And this assumes Siri is working perfectly, and you don't have to repeat some or part of the whole affair to do what you want.

    In contrast, the watch requires the phone to activate Siri. Presumably the phone is in its charging cradle like mine is, and "Hey Siri" works just as well there, with better microphones, speakers, and audible feedback. Plus, you don't have to move your hands from the steering wheel, and if the phone is mounted as mine is on the dash, maintain a similar focal distance with full peripheral view of the road when glancing at the phone, which also has a much larger display.

    I just don't see why anyone would want to use their watch in the car at all, since it's clearly the inferior interface.
     
  15. fischersd macrumors 68040

    fischersd

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    #15
    Apple's getting into Automotive interfaces. I think it's just around the corner for our iPhones and :apple:Watches to complement the interfaces in the car.

    They'll enhance the hands free experience with Siri. Get rid of even having to look at the dash (except maybe for reassurance for your GPS in complicated exit pathways) - they could make that part of the HUD (heads up display) though.
     
  16. placidity44 macrumors 6502

    placidity44

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    #16
    How can they differentiate if they're just telling time or what not.
     
  17. NM08SRT8 macrumors 6502a

    NM08SRT8

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  18. pooleman Suspended

    pooleman

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    #18
    I suppose you do not EVER change the radio station in your car while driving. Perhaps you have removed the radio from your car altogether. Is the operation of the radio just as detrimental to operating the vehicle as looking at the phone?
     
  19. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    #19
    I don't really see how the watch enhances anything in the car. The phone is already there, and is a requirement of using Siri on the watch. Without even being plugged into a car kit, the phone solves many of these problems as is. Plugging it into a car kit as you describes solves all of them, and makes the watch as a car interface obsolete.

    The only reason I look at my phone now while driving is to reference a map, or perhaps proof a dictated text before I send it. Putting those two functions on a heads up display would certainly keep my eyes pointed in the right direction, though it's hard to see laws allowing text messages of any kind to be displayed that way, in much the same way as a DVD can't be played while the car is moving.

    I'm not sure what advantage the watch offers over the phone, especially since Siri can't talk on the watch, and requires you to look at it to confirm. It's more awkward to activate, may require removing a hand from the wheel, may require two handed operation, may require undue focus and attention to operate and view. But otherwise, I agree 100% about integrating the phone into CarPlay, or some other integrated car kit.
     
  20. matty.p macrumors 6502

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    #20
    A FM radio isn't considered an electronic 2-way communication device which is how most of the distracted driving laws are written.
     
  21. pooleman Suspended

    pooleman

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    #21
    I understand. But it can still be just as distracting to fumble through knobs and take your eyes off the road as it is to make a phone call.
     
  22. tivoboy macrumors 68030

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    May 15, 2005
    #22
    I'm sure this will be challenged and the guy will probably win. Unless there was an active call going on and that was illegal, who knows what he was going? Could the law allow one not to WIND A watch, a traditional automatic? Probably not..
    we knew this was coming, the laws everywhere will get updated as more on the wrist devices come to market
     
  23. flur macrumors 68000

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    Nov 12, 2012
    #23
    For those of us who keep our phones in our bags/pockets/etc while driving instead of displayed on the dash (IMO that would be way distracting), a quick flip of the wrist to say "Hey Siri, tell X I'm stuck in traffic and will be late," is clearly superior to digging around to get out a phone.
     
  24. tivoboy macrumors 68030

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    May 15, 2005
    #24
    the ironic thing is, I can do this now already with my car and when the phone is connected via bluetooth. I just press the phone/voice button on the car and it engages Siri and I can dictate via voice without having to touch the phone.

    in CA (california) at least, I believe this is now LEGAL, although in most other states (countries) other than requesting to view your phones history, I have no idea how they would know anything had been done.
     
  25. flur macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Huh, I wonder if mine does that. Do you press the button and then say, "Hey Siri?"
     

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