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Wearing Google Glasses while driving judged to be fine

A Google Glass wearer who was pulled over by US traffic cops and issued a fine has had her case thrown out of court.

Cecilia Abadie was given a speeding ticket and fined for watching TV while driving when she was stopped by traffic cops in California last October. However, a judge in San Diego has dismissed the case, saying there was no evidence that Abadie’s Google Glasses were switched on, meaning there was no proof that her driving could have been affected by the distraction of TV. 

Google Glasses okay to wear while driving

The California Highway Patrol officer who stopped Ms Abadie claimed to have seen her using a “visible” monitor – a term typically used to describe someone watching a TV screen located within a vehicle. The defendant said the Google Glasses were not switched on at the time she was pulled over for speeding.

The case is the first involving someone being stopped for driving while using the smart glasses. Ms Abadie is a web and mobile app developer and was one of 30,000 people selected to test Google Glasses ahead of their commercial launch later this year. The glasses have a small screen embedded in one corner, which allows the wearer to view emails and texts as well as websites and video clips. Controlled by voice, the glasses are intended to be used as a hands-free viewing device. 

One of the concerns the police officer cited when stopping Abadie was that the glasses could impede her view of the road, she explained on her Google+ page shortly after the incident. However, Abadie reported that her field of vision was completely unimpeded when wearing the glasses, despite the police officer’s concern that the monitor “covered half of her right eye”. 

While this case was dismissed because the police couldn’t determine whether the glasses were switched on, the judge ruled that Google Glass wearers will be liable to prosecution if they’re caught using their smart eyewear when driving. Citing California Vehicle Code 27602, Judge Blair said “Based on the plain language of the statute, the court finds that … Google Glass falls within the purview and intent of the legislature”. This covers TVs and similar monitors. 

Photo Credit: Google


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