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Tag Archives: laws

Texting-while-driving Detection Device Being Developed

driving-sms

There are many jurisdictions where you’re not allowed to text while driving. It makes sense: the practice kills. But of course, illegal doesn’t mean people don’t do it. Now a Virginia-based company, ComSonics, is developing a radar-gun like device that can detect the telltale radio frequencies emitted from a cellphone as it sends a text. Law enforcement officers will be able to point it at passing cars and know if the occupant has been sending a text. It won’t be able to say which occupant is guilty, however, so maybe it’ll only be used with single-ocupant vehicles. It’s also unlikely to be able to detect when you’re using data-based text applications, like iMessage or WhatsApp. But considering how dangerous distracted driving is, we’re kind of happy to see tech like this in development.

No, it’s not illegal everywhere to text while driving. But it is in the following states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada. New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

VIA [ UberGizmo ]

‘Nose Telescope’ Lets Cops Figure Out How Much Cannabis Is In The Air

nasal_2734051b

While an increasing number of cities across the US have stated allowing the recreational use of marijuana, some of them, like Denver, have also passed some peculiar laws in the wake of the legalization. In particular, in Denver, you can be fined up to $2,000 if it’s found that you have “polluted the atmosphere” with the smell of your grass. Yes, it seems concern over the city being overwhelmed with the skunky smell of pot was enough to prompt the passing of this law, and even though you’ll be allowed to smoke in the privacy of your home, your neighbours better not get a whiff. So, the police will be using a device like the one pictured above to determine if you’ve exceeded the, uh, pollution limit. The thing is called the Nasal Ranger Field Olfactometer and the the threshold for an offence is apparently if “the odour is detectable when the smoke is mixed with seven times the volume of clean air”.

It’s a little ridiculous looking, for sure, but if you guys see the police outside your house with this thing on their faces, at least you know what they’re up to.

VIA [ DigitalTrends ]

Drive With Google Glass On Your Face, And Get A Ticket

google-glass

Cecilia Abadie was stopped for speeding last Tuesday in California. When the officer approached her, he noticed she was wearing Google Glasses and decided to add a second offence to her ticket: driving while looking at a monitor. Driving laws vary by state, and the specific statue allegedly broken by Ms. Abadie is V C 27602 which is usually reserved for people who watch movies while driving. It does make exceptions for GPS devices, and screens that help the driver navigate the road. A monitor can also be allowed if there are safety features that disable the video feed while driving. The problem is the law is broad enough that she may end up having a hard time fighting it in court.

It is the first time the device is specifically targeted in such a ticket. Google Glass is new technology and there are still no clear laws specifically targeting its use, while the still low number of wearers mean that there hasn’t been much pressure to legislate it yet. Obviously for us, we think that using Glass is much safer than even looking at a GPS screen, though if it is possible to enable a video feature while traveling above a certain speed, Ms. Abadie may be in trouble.

What do you guys think? Potentially distracting tech while driving? Or money hungry police departments looking for every opportunity to make a dime?

VIA [ CNN ]