Driver ticketed for wearing Google Glass set to appear in court today

January 16, 2014
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Remember the dust-up over the woman wearing Glass while driving? She’s since pleaded not guilty, and is set to make her argument in a San Diego courtroom today. It’s the first legal test for Glass, which has seen its share of misunderstandings and bad press.


If you’re coming into this cold, we’ll break it down for you. Later last year, a woman was pulled over for speeding. In issuing her a ticket for the infraction, the officer noticed she was wearing Glass. Under California law, a driver cannot have a monitor — like a TV — visible to them while operating a vehicle. The ticket had a notation of “Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass)” to bolster his citation for the monitor.

The woman, Cecilia Abadie, maintains she was using Glass for navigation, a loophole in the law which allows for a Garmin and devices like it to be used. Essentially, we’ve reached a stalemate which seems to revolve around perception and contrived notion. An officer sees a device that is displaying something, and assumes it’s a monitor for who knows what. Abadie claims it was navigating her, attempting to dispel the officer’s notion.

Ticket Google Glass

She failed, but will have her day in court to reverse the decision. It’s the first actual legal case regarding Glass, so aside from clearing her name and driving record of the infraction, it will also set a precedent for Glass moving forward. Should she find herself successful, Glass wearers now and in the future will find themselves a bit easier in the driver seat, unafraid of consequence.

Should she fail, it’s potentially devastating for Glass. While the random misconception of what Glass really is can be polarizing, it’s not a legal leg one could stand on. Being banned from a bar doesn’t go against your driving record, after all. We’d think the headlines alone from a loss would dissuade many potential future owners of Glass, too.
VIA: The Consumerist


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  • dyeyourcarpet

    What if the officer has an affinity for IOS? He obviously has the technical knowledge to know what Google glass is. Im pretty sure all the tactical units will be implementing a sort of google glass as a heads up display in a few more years. I cant imagine CHP not utilizing Google glass or a HUD inside the helmets visor. Think about the officer reading telemetry during a car chase and getting live feeds from a helicopter sending a live FLIR feed. I really hope google offers legal aid.

  • VandyCWG

    Well, this is something that could easily be fixed by Google only allowing navigation while in motion. GPS/Accelerometer should be able to understand when Glass is driving and should lock down to a driving mode.

    I agree with the citation, as Glass does way more than Navigation, and personally, I want all of other drivers attention on the road. I hate people even using a phone while driving.

    • T.J.

      What about a phone or tablet mounted on the dash? They both do more than navigate but it doesn’t automatically make you guilty of anything.

      • VandyCWG

        If I stopped you and you had that in your car, I would cite for the ‘mointer in view of the driver’ charge. I am a traffic Officer in TN and have cited for a mounted iPad in the past.

      • T.J.

        Maybe your position should be given to someone else. You obviously can’t handle change for the better.

      • VandyCWG

        Well, that is one way to look at it. But question, have you ever had to look at a family and tell them thier loved one was dead because someone was texting or using new technology? Well, im sure your answer is no, but I have. And I’ll tell you, it sucks.

        I love technology and the change that comes with it, but I also want to be responsible in making decisions on how they are used when it affects other people. But distracted driving is twice as dangerous as impaired driving.

        If you why to kill yourself by using a tablet or Google glass, that’s fine, but I have a problem when it endangers me, my wife, my friends, or my family.

      • T.J.

        When it’s being used for navigation purposes, it doesn’t matter if it can be used for anything else, it’s not against the law. A car can be used for street racing but if you’re not using it for that, you shouldn’t be charged for it. Make sense?

      • VandyCWG

        I follow your point, but I think you missed my original point, I think they would be good for vehicle use, only need something to restrict the usage to navigation only when driving. Both for iPad/tablet and Glass.

        I think just relying on someone following the law is laughable. I mean, some folks will do the right thing and not use it, but most folks will use it. They do now, I see folks ‘texting while driving’ all the time, even though thats against the law.

  • Truffol

    Perhaps an unpopular opinion but I can see why the officer issued the ticket in the first place. A new product, not properly tested and cleared by the authorities, that obstructs eyesight should not be assumed to be legal in the first place. Much like the iPhone’s airplane mode – it isn’t really airplane mode until the FAA says so.