Woman Ticketed for Driving with Google Glass Wins in Court

    January 17, 2014
    Josh Wolford

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+