California Woman Gets Charged for Wearing Google Glass While Driving

Image for article titled California Woman Gets Charged for Wearing Google Glass While Driving

Well, it was bound to happen. A Google Glass-wearer was ticketed in San Diego last night for "driving with a monitor visible" — the same law that prevents people from watching TV in their cars. But there are exceptions for GPS and satellite radio devices, so we can't help but wonder if the cop did the right thing.


Driver Cecilia Abadie was initially pulled over for speeding. But the police officer — after noticing her Glass — decided to charge her under a California law stating that:

[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."

Abadie took to her Google+ account to complain:

Image for article titled California Woman Gets Charged for Wearing Google Glass While Driving

Her post prompted nearly 300 comments, many of them in support, including one that read, "Please please please, fight this in court. We need to get a ruling on this. I'm sure we can get a good collection together to pay for a proper attorney."

And indeed, as Ars Technica's Jon Brodkin notes, she may actually have a case:

The California rule provides exceptions for video equipment if it provides a "global positioning display" or "mapping display." Google Glass can of course be used as a GPS. A California driver handbook summarizes the rule and its exceptions by saying, "Do not drive a vehicle equipped with a video monitor, if the monitor is visible to the driver and displays anything other than vehicle information global mapping displays, external media player (MP3), or satellite radio information."


Now, it needs to be said that driving while wearing Glass could be disastrous. Sure, some users may be responsible and use it for GPS or voice commands. But it's also prone to abuse, like browsing the web and watching YouTube videos. Because it'll be next to impossible for police officers to enforce, Google Glass will probably be made as illegal as texting and driving is today.

[ h/t Ars Technica ]

Related: Why does this Glass video seem so wrong?



George Dvorsky

Potential solution: Smart cars and/or smart AR devices that have certain features disabled while the car is in motion.