Google Glass driver ticket lawsuit dismissed

A California woman ticketed for wearing Google Glass while driving is enjoying dismissal of the citation thanks to a decision in court that there wasn't proof the headset was operating at the time.

Credit: ZDNet

A California driver is enjoying the dismissal of both a speeding ticket and fine for wearing Google Glass while driving, as a judge found insufficient evidence to hold up highway patrol claims.

Cecilia Abadie was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol in late October after the officer on duty claimed she was speeding. Once the driver pulled over and was spotted wearing her Google Glass headset, the officer then cited her for driving "with a monitor visible."

Google Glass is a headset which shows information on a small screen in the corner of a user's vision. The headset, which will soon be available commercially -- although currently limited to testers and developers called Explorers -- can show text messages, emails, maps, and can record video or take pictures. While some states have already moved to ban the use of the device while on the road, San Diego is yet to do so.

The officer cited California vehicle code 27602, which prevents a video display being used in front of the driver. Abadie said the headset was not being used at the time, and according to Reuters, San Diego Commissioner John Blair threw out the charge based on a lack of evidence that the device was in operation at the time of the offense.

In addition, the commissioner dismissed the speeding ticket for the same reason.

Outside of court on Thursday, Abadie told reporters that the wearable technology does not give drivers any "blind spot," commenting:

"I believe we have to start experimenting with devices like this. As a hands-free device it is safer than a cell phone."

The decision does not mean that Californian drivers now have the freedom to wear such devices without censure. Instead, it is up to duty officers as to whether a citation is needed -- but drivers retain the right to appeal tickets, in the same way as Abadie. Google said that device users should "always use Glass responsibly and put their safety and the safety of others first," stating:

"Glass is built to connect you more with the world around you, not distract you from it."

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