Man gets $120 traffic ticket for using Apple Watch while driving

A Canadian man has received a traffic ticket for using his Apple Watch while driving, as the police fined him $120 and a few points on his driving record.

Jeffrey Macesin was recently pulled over in Montreal, Quebec, and fined a $120 ticket and 4 points on his driving record because he was using his Apple Watch while driving toward Vautreuil.

Macesin did not know that using his Apple Watch while driving was against the law, although the smartwatch does pose a risk of distraction, Montreal's CTV News reported.

According to the report, Macesin said he was using the smartwatch mostly to control music functions while driving. The man said his smartphone was paired to the smartwatch, but placed in a bag.

"I have it [the smartphone] in the bag charging while the auxiliary cable is plugged in to the radio and this controls my phone to play the music. So I was changing songs with my hand on the steering wheel," Macesin reckons. "Going towards Vautreuil, there was a cop car behind me and he didn't have his lights on yet, but then he turned them and I thought maybe he just wanted me to get out of the way. I was just confused."

"No person may, while driving a road vehicle, use a hand-held device that includes a telephone function," argued the police officer to justify the ticket, citing Section 439.1 of the Quebec Highway Safety Code.

Macesin, on the other hand, reportedly plans on contesting the ticket, arguing that the Apple Watch doesn't actually come with a telephone function. It simply connects to a smartphone in a similar way to a Bluetooth headset, and that should not be banned. Considering that using Bluetooth devices while driving is allowed, as long as the driver doesn't handle the smartphone, Macesin argues that the Apple Watch should fall under the same category.

Increasing efforts in recent years aimed to reduce traffic accidents caused by distractions such as talking and texting while driving, and the ticket Macesin got was issued to discourage drivers from using other devices while behind the wheel. Using a smartwatch to quickl change a song may not be as dangerous as texting while driving, but it does pose a risk because it requires the driver's attention, even if only briefly. It remains to be seen whether Macesin will be successful in contesting the ticket.

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