UK: Apple’s new Watch seen as driving threat image

Many technology observers expect the new Apple Watch to truly kickstart the wearable technology market much in the way the first iPhone did with the smartphones industry.

But others, such as the UK Institute for Advanced Motorists are lading a fight against the new timepiece, dubbing it a hazard for drivers – much in the same way the safety experts deem the handheld cellphones and tablet computers.

In support of these allegations now come the British motoring authorities, which have made public the fact that someone using an Apple Watch that gets involved in an accident with fatalities can go for prison for up to two years.

“Having a wristwatch linked to users’ mobile phone only suggests a higher proportion of drivers’ performance will be significantly impaired,” said the UK-based organization. The new Apple Watch “could significantly impair driving performance – being a major cause for distraction and road accidents.”

British authorities pan distracted driving as the root cause for 54,000 crashes between 2010 and 2012. So, barely a week after Apple’s Watch unveiling – but as the wearable market has seen a flood of new products in recent months, the UK legislators have declared that users of such timepieces could be fined 100-pound (around $163), also receiving three points on the driving record.