Police Landscape

Google Glass Driver Battles Traffic Ticket In Court

The Google Glass-wearing driver explains why she is fighting the traffic ticket in a Californian courtroom

On by Todd R. Weiss 1

A Google Glass user is currently fighting a court case after the Southern California woman was issued a traffic ticket in October for driving whilst wearing the mobile computing device.

The user has taken her case to court, arguing that she was only wearing the device and not using it when she was stopped.

Not Guilty

In a telephone interview with eWEEK, Cecelia Abadie, 44, of Temecula, Calif., said that she pleaded not guilty at a court hearing on 3 December and that she is pursuing the case to seek dismissal of the charges. She was cited for travelling at 80 mph in a 65 mph zone.

After entering her plea, a trial date for the case was set for 16 January, 2014, Abadie said.

Google GlassShe had posted a notice about the plea hearing on her Google+ page that included a short video interview with her attorney, William Concidine, who outlined his plans for her defence. In the interview, Concidine said he will argue in court that just wearing a Google Glass device while driving is not illegal, since it does not impair a driver’s vision. Also, he said, since Google Glass didn’t exist when California’s driving laws were written, he will challenge whether they can be considered as an infraction.

“We’re going to be challenging the issue of whether Miss Abadie was driving while operating a television or some other media device,” as laid out under the state’s driving code, Concidine said in the video. “We don’t believe that Google Glass falls into that category since it wasn’t in existence at the time of the drafting of the law. We’re going to be arguing that Miss Abadie’s case is unique, it’s different, it’s the first of its kind and that there’s nothing illegal about wearing Google Glass while driving your vehicle.”

eWEEK contacted Concidine, but he had no further comment.

Abadie was ticketed in connection with the incident on 29 October when she was stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer and while she was driving in San Diego. Abadie, who received her Glass device as a Google Glass Explorer on 1 May, quickly posted the details of her traffic stop on her Google+ page at the time, expressing shock about the Glass citation and seeking any and all legal advice.

“A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving!” wrote Abadie. “The exact line says: Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass). Is #GoogleGlass illegal while driving or is this cop wrong??? Any legal advice is appreciated!! This happened in California. Do you know any other #GlassExplorers that got a similar ticket anywhere in the US?”

Driving Violation

Abadie told eWEEK earlier that she was heading north on Interstate 15 from San Diego and heading home in her 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid when she was pulled over by a police officer who said she had been caught speeding. As the officer wrote the ticket, she said he also told her that he was writing her up for wearing Google Glass while driving, which he said was a violation of a law that forbids a driver from having a video screen that is visible while operating a motor vehicle.

Todd R. Weiss
Author: Todd R. Weiss
Weiss eWEEK USA 2014. Ziff Davis Enterprise Inc. All Rights Reserved
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One reply to Google Glass Driver Battles Traffic Ticket In Court

  • On December 8, 2013 at 12:50 am by DavidG

    Glass is just a head-mounted display, hardly a new technology. I’m not precisely sure when I first worked on one, but it would probably have been about 1990, while the basic concept dates back to the 1970s…

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