A Quebec driver was recently issued a ticket for using his Apple Watch behind the wheel, according to a CTV News article. Jeffrey Macesin has been fined $120 as well as four demerit points.
He says he was trying to change the song he was playing while he was driving, and that prompted a police cruiser to stop him, as the Quebec Highway Safety Code restricts the use of ‘hand-held devices’ while driving. Macesin is disputing the ticket, arguing that the Apple Watch isn’t a hand-held device and therefore shouldn’t be subject to that law. Moreover, a traffic lawyer interviewed for the article elaborated that the law is unclear in this area and added his own opinion that the Apple Watch isn’t even a smartphone but is actually a Bluetooth device (since it requires pairing with an iPhone to function), and “it has been established under the law that you are allowed to use Bluetooth devices.”
It’s an interesting case when considered in the wider contact of our culture’s growing embrace of wearable technology. As the line between our persons and our devices continues to blur, we could very well see further legal complications arise in a number of areas. For now, though, the stakes in Mr. Macesin’s case are pretty low. (And it’s indisputable that the Apple Watch is not a hand-held device.)