A German court has upheld the Euro 200 fine levied on a Tesla driver for ‘improper use of an electronic device’ last year. It was reported that the driver was trying to adjust the wiper speed, when he drove into an embankment and hit several trees. He has been banned from driving for a month.
The court observed that while the wiper could be turned on/off conventionally, changing the wiper speed required the driver to access a sub-menu on the touchscreen. The driver argued that touchscreen can not be classified as an electronic device as it is used for a safety feature (wipers). The judge dismissed this as it is only permitted to have a brief glance or use voice commands while driving to ensure safe operation of the vehicle.
The ruling could result in car manufacturers having to rethink replacing buttons with touchscreens as the drivers would be held liable for operating such functions that could divert their attention from the road.
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