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California driver ticketed for wearing Google Glass found not guilty

Cited for wearing Google Glass at a traffic stop during October 2013, 44-year-old Cecilia Abadie has successfully beaten the ticket and all charges have been dismissed as of today. During the original traffic stop, a California Highway patrolman wrote Abadie a ticket for speeding 15 mph over the posted speed limit and added an additional citation for “driving with monitor visible to driver.” Abadie’s attorney argued that while she was wearing Google Glass at the time of the stop, the device was not activated and did not obstruct her vision in any way while operating the vehicle.

Earlier today, San Diego court commissioner John Blair found there was no evidence supporting the claim that the device was operating at the time of the traffic stop. In addition, Blair dismissed the speeding citation since an expert wasn’t available to testify if the patrolman’s speed detector was properly calibrated prior to the stop. 

Google-Glass-in-a-car

Speaking about the win after the court session, Abadie said “I believe we have to start experimenting with devices like this. As a hands-free device, it is safer than a cell phone.”

Interestingly, the ruling does provide a bit of a instructional loophole for Google Glass owners. As long as a driver turns off Google Glass prior to a police officer walking up to the driver’s side window of the vehicle, there’s no way to prove that Google Glass was operating during the drive. The ruling could also help encourage more development of integrated driving applications, perhaps designed by the car manufacturer to display data such as current speed or turn-by-turn directions.

That being said, California lawmakers could simply outlaw use of Google Glass while driving and make the device illegal to wear when behind the wheel. Legislators in Illinois, Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia have already considered similar legislation that would make wearing Google Glass illegal while operating a motor vehicle.

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