We hope every right-thinking person understands this, but the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management makes it clear: You're not allowed to use the Vision Pro behind the wheel in the Netherlands either.
The US Transportation Secretary was furious last week when several US motorists posted videos of themselves behind the wheel with Vision Pro on their heads. And while the Vision Pro isn't officially on sale here, the same principle applies to the Dutch Apple fan import: no VR glasses on your nose in the car. “I assume the Dutch are taking their responsibility and not wearing such glasses while driving,” said Mark Harpers, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, when asked.
However, the Minister expects that we humble Dutch people will generally not be stupid enough to drive with Vision Pro. “We've seen with Google Glass that it's not working out; people are sensible enough not to use it while driving,” says Harpers. Google Glass may be less of a risk, because you'll still have most of your normal field of vision: only the upper right side will be distracting. However, in some US states, wearing glass was also explicitly prohibited.
Virtual reality in the car is even more dangerous
With VR headsets with high-quality video transmission, such as Vision Pro and to a lesser extent Meta Quest 3, you can see your surroundings clearly and in color. However: This is done through cameras that are not as good as your eyes. So you still see less sharply, less far, less detailed, and with a smaller field of view than you're used to. And most importantly: if something happens to the cameras or goggles, you are actually sitting in the car with tinted ski goggles on: this is very dangerous.
Therefore, such dangerous behavior is severely punished. He said: “Based on Section 5 of the Road Traffic Law, people can receive a heavy fine if they obstruct traffic or endanger traffic while wearing these glasses. Reckless driving is punishable, and this is what people who drive with these glasses do. Sit down.” Minister of Transport.
Artistic distraction remains a problem
Regardless of novelties like the Vision Pro, the use of smartphones and other technological distractions in the car remains a major problem. It's so easy to get distracted by incoming text messages, some people even make videos while driving. As the government conveniently but narrowly summarizes it: 3 seconds of distraction at 120 kilometers per hour is equivalent to looking 100 meters without driving.
The use of smartphones on bicycles has also been banned for a few years, and we will continue to do so. Less than a year ago, it became clear that the number of fines imposed for using a phone in a car and on a bicycle continues to rise sharply, although the amounts of fines have actually increased.
We already have the Vision Pro: we've broken it down extensively and told you what you can do with it in the Netherlands – oh, and be on the lookout for our newsletter!
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