Woman Ticketed for Driving with Google Glass Wins in Court

    January 17, 2014
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

The California woman who was recently ticketed for wearing Google Glass while driving (the first such citation in the country) has been let off the hook.

A court dismissed Cecilia Abadie’s ticket on Thursday afternoon, saying that there was no proof that her Google Glass was actually operating when she was pulled over. The officer that cited Abadie back in October wrote that she was in violation of section 27602 of the California penal code, or…

“A person shall not drive a motor vehicle if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen, or any other similar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal that produces entertainment or business applications, is operating and is located in the motor vehicle at a point forward of the back of the driver’s seat, or is operating and the monitor, screen, or display is visible to the driver while driving the motor vehicle.”

We previously noted that the law has a few loopholes, in that you cannot be cited for a violation for using a “vehicle information display, a mapping display, or a global positioning display.”

Instead of simply paying the ticket, Abadie hired a local lawyer and decided to fight the charge. Her case has received plenty of coverage, considering there are implications for the future of wearable tech and exactly how laws are going to adapt (or fail to adapt) as it becomes more ubiquitous.

Apparently, the officer wasn’t even going to give Abadie a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving (she was pulled over for speeding), but he decided to tack the extra charge on there when she became a bit chippy about her legal rights to use Glass in her vehicle.

Although some may suggest that this is some sort of huge win for Google Glass, and wearable tech in general – it would be wise to hold off on the hyperbole. Sure, this case sets an interesting precedent (I mean how would you ever determine if a driver was actually operating Google Glass at the precise time you stopped them?), but it doesn’t signal a go-ahead for Glassholes everywhere to strap on a pair and hit the road. The traffic court’s dismissal doesn’t suggest any opinion on whether or not operating a motor vehicle while wearing Google Glass would be legal – only that they couldn’t prove that Abadie was actually using her high-tech eyewear at the time.

One thing’s for sure – this may be the first but it definitely won’t be the last case of its kind. Lawmakers across the country are taking the early steps to put legislation on the books banning Google Glass in a variety of situations – driving being at the top of the list.

Image via Cecilia Abadie, Google+

  • http://mike-biddle.blogspot.com Mike Biddle

    You can figure out if they were using them the same way they can find out if you were texting at a certain time. They just haven’t thought of that yet.

  • http://berkshire-driving-school.co.uk John Silvester

    This does not set a precedent – it does not add to case law. It could be very useful to receive driving information through these devices providing it does not impair observation for the driver. It would be scary to think that a driver was watching a film when driving. I have had a rear end hit by an inattentive driver and my car was un-driveable afterwards and I was nearly written off. I hope that technology can be developed to prevent drivers from using these devices for entertainment purposes.

  • http://www.mindmagic123.com Hypnosis Hypnotherapy – Los Angeles

    The law caught up with cell phones, allowing only hands free usage while moving, at least here in California. With alcohol here, if you refuse the test you are assumed to be in violation. A similar law could be crafted, ie if you are wearing something like this it is assumed to be on, just as you cannot have an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, drinking or not. Until we get self driving cars, technology is going to create these conflicts.