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Ontario Judge Finds Woman Guilty of Distracted Driving for Looking at Apple Watch

A Canadian woman has been found guilty of distracted driving for looking at her Apple Watch, despite claims that she was just checking the time while waiting for a red light to change (via The National Post). A judge in the Ontario Court of Justice ordered University of Guelph student Victoria Ambrose to pay a $400 fine, after determining that she had spent too much time staring at her smartwatch while being in control of a vehicle. According to court documents, the woman was ticketed after a police officer noticed the glow from an electronic gadget coming from the woman's car, which was stationary beside his cruiser at a red light. The officer reported that he saw the woman look up and down at the device four times in 20 seconds, and then fail to move forward when the light turned green. The officer then shone a light into her car and she began to drive. When he pulled her over, he realized that she had been looking at an Apple Watch. In Ontario, it is illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices, such as smartphones, portable media players, GPS systems and laptops. Previously, the province had not designated the Apple Watch or other smartwatches as being illegal to use while operating a motor vehicle. However, in judging Ambrose's case, Justice of the Peace Lloyd Phillipps rejected her argument that the Apple Watch being on her wrist satisfies an exemption for devices securely mounted inside the vehicle. "Checking one's timepiece is normally done in a

Distracted Driving Laws Yet to Catch Up With Apple Watch

While several states and countries have laws in place that make operating a handheld device such as a smartphone or portable media player illegal, the release of the Apple Watch has created a gray area in terms of distracted driving legislation. Given that the Apple Watch is technically not a handheld device, the laws in many jurisdictions are left open to interpretation at this point. Regardless of the laws in your local area, it is highly recommended that you keep your eyes on the road and remain focused on driving at all times. Using your Apple Watch while driving is dangerous for both you and the drivers sharing the road with you, no matter how skilled of a driver you may be, and distracted driving in general is still a punishable offense in many jurisdictions.