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‘Google Glass Driver’ Is Cleared In San Diego Court

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
January 16, 2014

Cecilia Abadie, the motorist who was cited for allegedly speeding — and driving while wearing Google Glass — has won her day in court, after a San Diego traffic commissioner ruled there was no proof Abadie had the device’s screen on while she drove.

A California Highway Patrol officer gave Abadie two citations last October. In interviews, Abadie said the officer seemed “very annoyed” that she was wearing the Google Glass, as we reported. But she maintained that she didn’t have the device’s heads-up screen turned on, which would present a viewing square in her field of vision.

The police had said Abadie was in violation of California Vehicle Code 27602: “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen … 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.”

In declaring Abadie not guilty, San Diego Court Commissioner John Blair said there was no proof that the Glass’ screen was on as she drove along California’s I-15 freeway. He also said there wasn’t enough evidence that she’d been speeding.

As we reported earlier, Abadie said she was “very shocked” to get a ticket for wearing the device — and she said her case proved that communities and lawmakers haven’t yet clarified how personal gadgets such as Google Glass should be treated.

According to the AP, lawmakers are working on it:

“Legislators in at least three states — Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia — have introduced bills that would ban driving with Google Glass.”

Google, which has so far distributed the device only to around 10,000 “explorers” who are testing it, did not participate in Abadie’s case, according to San Diego’s Times-Union.

In the past, Google has told Glass wearers that the device’s legality “depends on where you are and how you use it.” The company urged its users to learn about and follow local laws, noting that “most states have passed laws limiting the use of mobile devices while driving any motor vehicle.” [Copyright 2014 NPR]

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