'Smart' watches - another distraction?

User avatar
squeaker
Posts: 3764
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 11:43pm
Location: Sussex

'Smart' watches - another distraction?

Postby squeaker » 21 Mar 2015, 11:26am

Given that most drivers seem to have their hand(s) on the wheel at 25 past 6, I doubt it :roll: but who knows :?:

In that these things seem to need a smart phone to connect, is using a smart watch, other than to see what time it is, ipso facto using a mobile phone?
"42"

Psamathe
Posts: 12279
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: 'Smart' watches - another distraction?

Postby Psamathe » 21 Mar 2015, 11:34am

As the watches need a smartphone to operate, I wonder if legally there might be an argument that, when you use your smartwatch you are actually/also using your smartphone.

I appreciate it that in some respects the same could be said of my using my laptop and in effect I am using remote servers (although my laptop will operate without remote servers). But I doubt this would be too relevant were it to come to a court case (i.e. using a smartwatch/smartphone combination is probably equally illegal/unwise as using a laptop to browse the internet whilst driving).

But then it's all rather academic as the chances of a driver being caught for using their phone whilst driving are negligible, so the chances of being caught using a smartwatch (if it were illegal) are ...

Ian

snibgo
Posts: 4604
Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: 'Smart' watches - another distraction?

Postby snibgo » 22 Mar 2015, 4:50pm

squeaker wrote:... is using a smart watch, other than to see what time it is, ipso facto using a mobile phone?

I think the relevant wording is "hand-held communication device". If nothing is held in the hand, that offence isn't committed.

It could be a distraction, of course. "Not in proper control", etc.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 18065
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: 'Smart' watches - another distraction?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 23 Mar 2015, 8:43am

So if I balance my mobile in the steering wheel then it's not hand held any more?

Maybe we should be using the more "general" legal implements which already exist - If you are using any other device you are not driving with "due care". If you're parked, or stopped at lights then some usage can be accomplished whilst still exhibiting due care (after all the amber phase allows you to drop what you're doing and check for hazards... It's not like we need it for double de-clutching any more...)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

snibgo
Posts: 4604
Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: 'Smart' watches - another distraction?

Postby snibgo » 23 Mar 2015, 1:43pm

The legislation is The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2003.

The offense is slightly wider than I had thought.
(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a road if he is using—

(a)a hand-held mobile telephone; or

(b)a hand-held device of a kind specified in paragraph (4).

...

(4) A device referred to in paragraphs (1)(b), (2)(b) and (3)(b) is a device, other than a two-way radio, which performs an interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving data.

...

(6)(a) a mobile telephone or other device is to be treated as hand-held if it is, or must be, held at some point during the course of making or receiving a call or performing any other interactive communication function;

(But, roughly speaking, it's okay in an emergency.)

Court cases have arisen over the precise meaning of "drive", "road" and "using" in this context. I think that balancing a mobile in the steering wheel would be ruled as "hand-held". But I think a wrist-watch, worn on the wrist, stabbed by fingers of the other hand, probably would not be "hand-held".

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 18065
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: 'Smart' watches - another distraction?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 24 Mar 2015, 11:08am

snibgo wrote:The legislation is The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2003.

The offense is slightly wider than I had thought.
(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a road if he is using—

(a)a hand-held mobile telephone; or

(b)a hand-held device of a kind specified in paragraph (4).

...

(4) A device referred to in paragraphs (1)(b), (2)(b) and (3)(b) is a device, other than a two-way radio, which performs an interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving data.

...

(6)(a) a mobile telephone or other device is to be treated as hand-held if it is, or must be, held at some point during the course of making or receiving a call or performing any other interactive communication function;

(But, roughly speaking, it's okay in an emergency.)

Court cases have arisen over the precise meaning of "drive", "road" and "using" in this context. I think that balancing a mobile in the steering wheel would be ruled as "hand-held". But I think a wrist-watch, worn on the wrist, stabbed by fingers of the other hand, probably would not be "hand-held".


What's the difference between jammed in a steering wheel and being in a dedicated holder (other than ease of operation being better in a steering wheel)

'cos it's clearly not hand held if it's in a mount... Or maybe it is?
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

snibgo
Posts: 4604
Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: 'Smart' watches - another distraction?

Postby snibgo » 24 Mar 2015, 12:23pm

If it's jammed in somewhere, or blu-tacked or taped or glued or in a holder ... and it doesn't have to be held to turn it on or whatever, then it isn't hand-held. But a court might need to be convinced of this.

niggle
Posts: 3429
Joined: 11 Mar 2009, 10:29pm
Location: Cornwall, near England

Re: 'Smart' watches - another distraction?

Postby niggle » 30 Mar 2015, 1:06pm

snibgo wrote:The legislation is The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2003.

The offense is slightly wider than I had thought.
(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a road if he is using—

(a)a hand-held mobile telephone; or

(b)a hand-held device of a kind specified in paragraph (4).

...

(4) A device referred to in paragraphs (1)(b), (2)(b) and (3)(b) is a device, other than a two-way radio, which performs an interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving data.

...

(6)(a) a mobile telephone or other device is to be treated as hand-held if it is, or must be, held at some point during the course of making or receiving a call or performing any other interactive communication function;

(But, roughly speaking, it's okay in an emergency.)

Court cases have arisen over the precise meaning of "drive", "road" and "using" in this context. I think that balancing a mobile in the steering wheel would be ruled as "hand-held". But I think a wrist-watch, worn on the wrist, stabbed by fingers of the other hand, probably would not be "hand-held".

Does the above mean that a two-way radio is exempt?