If you’re driving around in the state of California, you might want to ditch the Google Glass.
A California woman has been ticketed for wearing Google Glass while operating a motor vehicle, or more specifically “driving with a monitor visible.” Cecilia Abadie took to Google+ to tell the story, and ask her followers for clarification on the laws regarding Google Glass on the road.
As you can see, the officer cites section 27602 of the penal code when issuing the ticket. This section covers “televisions” in automobiles, and states:
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.
The law has some loopholes, in that you cannot be cited for a violation for using a “vehicle information display, a mapping display, or a global positioning display.”
So yeah, the law is a bit ambiguous. It doesn’t specifically mention Google Glass or any sort of wearable tech. Sure, Google Glass could technically be called a “video screen” – but it could also fall under the GPS or mapping display category as well. As you can see, Abadie wasn’t given a primary citation for driving with Google Glass – it seems to be a secondary violation that resulted from being pulled over for speeding. That raises another complication – if Glass-wearers are to be ticketing while driving, will it be a primary offense? Will it work like seatbelt laws (in most states)?
The point is that the laws are vague and most states are currently playing catch-up when it comes to products like Google Glass. Some states, West Virginia for example, have already begun to tackle Google Glass specifically. Department of Transport officials in the UK have made no secret of the fact that they are looking to ban the use of Google Glass while driving.
Anti-glass laws or not, Google is pushing forward in a big way. Check out the newest version of Google Glass, which Google will give Glass Explorers later this year.