Friday, January 17, 2014

Judge throws out Google Glass driving case, but says statute does apply

A Google Glass user who had been ticketed for wearing Google's smart eyewear won her case on Thursday, Reuters reported. Cecilia Abadie, 44, saw her case dismissed by Court Commissioner John Blair on the grounds of a lack of proof that there was no evidence that her Google Glass device was operating at the time.

Blair did leave things open for future such traffic citations, though. He said that Google Glass "falls within the purview and intent" of the statute, which bans driving with an operating monitor or video screen if the display is visible to the driver.

Outside the courtroom, Abadie said:
I believe we have to start experimenting with devices like this. As a hands-free device it is safer than a cell phone.
In addition to the Google Glass citation, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Keith Odle testified that he estimated Abadie had been driving her Toyota Prius at 85 miles per hour on the freeway -- a 65 mph zone -- when he pulled her over.

Blair also dismissed that citation, too, saying an expert did not appear to testify as to the calibration on the officer's speedometer. There was therefore a lack of evidence to establish Abadie's driving speed.

Google's website contains an advisory for Glass users:
Read up and follow the law. Above all, even when you're following the law, don't hurt yourself or others by failing to pay attention to the road.
Google Glass is not yet available for sale to the general public; the company has given a set of "Explorers" the opportunity to try beta and early versions of the smart eyewear. These prototypes cost the wearers $1,500 each; the device is expected to come to market later this year. A retail price has not been announced.

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