Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Legal history made: Google Glass user ticketed for wearing the device while driving

From dive bars to roadways, Google Glass is seeing some bans. Yes, you read that right; Google Glass appears to be facing its first legal challenge, as a Glass Explorer reported on Wednesday (via 9to5Google) that she had been ticketed for driving while wearing the smartglasses.

It appears this is the first instance of a Google Glass user being ticketed for using -- or at least wearing -- it while driving.

According to Cecilia Abadie, who posted the information on, where else, Google+,
A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving!

The exact line says: Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass). Is #GoogleGlass illgal 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?
The law in question would appear to be this one:
27602. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen, or any other similar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal that produces entertainment or business applications, 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.
Notably, it wasn't Google Glass that attracted the officer's attention. Abadie said she was also ticketed for speeding 10 mph above the limit, too -- which is surely what caused the traffic stop.

It was then that the officer noticed the Google Glass device she was wearing. California drivers will know that the CHP frequently gives "breaks" on the speed they list on a ticket, so she was probably driving more like 20 to 25 mph above the limit.

Google Glass fans are chiming in on Abadie's post, and some have said they want to start a legal fund to help her challenge the ticket -- which could otherwise set a precedent. While many are saying that Glass is less distracting than, say, looking down at your smartphone or GPS unit, it is still distracting.

We'll be interested in seeing if Google makes a statement or backs Abadie legally in this fight.

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