Google tries to change distracted driving laws

Google is leaning on politicans in at least three US states to stop proposed restrictions on driving with Google Glass.

More than eight US states are considering regulation of Google Glass because they fear that drivers wearing the devices will pay more attention to their email than the road.

But Google has enough cash to pay for lobbyists and apparently has done so in Illinois, Delaware and Missouri.

Google claims it is unnecessary to restrict use of Google Glass behind the wheel although it did not say why.

It has its work cut out for it. New York, Maryland and West Virginia are also planning such laws and Reuters says that they have not yet been contacted by Google.

Last month in San Diego a woman’s traffic ticket for wearing Google Glass behind the wheel was dismissed because there was no proof the device was operating at the time.

Google seems to be telling legislators is that regulation would be premature because Google Glass is not yet widely available.

But as Illinois state Senator Ira Silverstein, a Chicago Democrat who introduced a Google Glass restriction bill in December told Reuters  that it was clear that the technology was going to hit the shops.

Silverstein recently met with Google lobbyists trying to “kill” the bill. He thinks that it because Google does not want users put off by legal restrictions when they buy the gadget.

After Silverstein introduced his bill, Google hired John Borovicka, a former political director for President Obama’s former chief of staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Borovicka’s first job was to visit Silverstein to lobby against the legislation.

Google is also fighting a ground swell of public opinion against using mobile phones and driving. Campaigns against distracted driving have gained significant traction in the United States after it was revealed last year over 3,000 people died due to crashes where texting or other activities were in play.