Google Glass driver not guilty of traffic offence
Case against Cecilia Abadie dropped as no evidence her device was operating
CECELIA ABADIE, the Californian woman charged with a traffic offence for wearing Google Glass while she drove, has won her case.
Abadie, who was hit with what was believed to be the world's first traffic citation involving the internet-enabled spectacles, was delighted after a judge ruled that there was no evidence her Google Glass was operating when she was pulled over. She was cited for breaking a California law barring motorists from watching TV while driving.
After the ruling, Abadie, who develops Web and mobile applications, said the glasses do not give drivers any "blind spots", the BBC reports. "I believe we have to start experimenting with devices like this," she said. "A hands-free device is safer than a cell phone."
Abadie was pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer in October last year as she drove home from work in San Diego. The 'Google Explorer' - so called because she is one of a group of early adopters who have been given pre-release copies of the internet-enabled eyewear - was told initially she had been stopped for speeding. But when the officer noticed she was wearing Glass, he gave her a ticket that said she had violated California Vehicle Code 27602a.
The statute makes it illegal for a motorist to "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".
Google Glass, when it is activated, displays information and images in a virtual display projected at the edge of the user's field of vision. Abadie, who posted a copy of her traffic ticket on her Google+ page, said she was considering fighting the citation in court because her Google Glass was not switched on at the time of the incident.
"I was wearing it because I do wear it all day, but I was not using it," she told San Diego TV station 10news. "A lot of people don't understand how the device works... and the fact that you're wearing it even if the device is turned on doesn't mean that you're watching it or using it actively."
The Guardian said Abadie's case "touches several hot-button issues, including distracted driving, wearable technology that will one day become mainstream, and how laws often lag technological developments". The outcome could have "important ramifications" for the use of Glass by groups such as delivery drivers, who might want to use Glass to get driving directions while on the way to locations. ·