Google Glass driver pleads not guilty to traffic offence
Cecilia Abadie challenges fine issued after she wore internet eyewear at the wheel
A CALIFORNIAN woman has pleaded not guilty to what is believed to be the first traffic citation over a motorist allegedly using Google's Glass device while driving, The Guardian reports. The paper says Cecelia Abadie's case could become a test of the rule against using distracting technologies while driving.
Abadie was pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer in October 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, says she is 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 says 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. ·