Ticketed Google Glass Driver in California Has Case Dismissed
Abadie received her Glass device as a Google Glass Explorer on May 1, 2013, and quickly posted the details of her traffic stop on her Google+ page on the day she was ticketed, 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 U.S.?" The ticket received by Abadie is believed to be the first one issued by a California Highway Patrol officer for a Google Glass violation. Officers have leeway for ticketing drivers who are operating motor vehicles while distracted, whether by cell phones, eating, reading or participating in other distracting activities. Concidine represented Abadie for free in this case after reading about her plight. "Rarely do you get an interesting case in traffic court," he told eWEEK. This case disproved that theory, he said.The proposed ban on driving while wearing head-mounted displays was introduced in the state's legislature by Gary Howell, a Republican state representative in West Virginia's 56th district. Howell's main concern with the devices is that they create safety issues such as driver distraction, especially for younger, less-experienced drivers who might be among the users most likely to buy such technology. The proposed West Virginia law would have implemented a fine of $100 for a first offense, and $200 to $300 fines for subsequent offenses. Google Glass has been a topic of conversation among techies since news of it first arrived in 2012. The first Google Glass units began shipping in April 2013 to developers who signed up at the June 2012 Google I/O conference to buy an early set for $1,500 for testing and development; it was the hit of the conference. Google also then began shipping Glass units to lucky users who were selected in the #ifihadglass contest for the opportunity to buy their own early versions of Glass. Each Google Glass device includes adjustable nose pads and a high-resolution display that Google said is the equivalent of a 25-inch high-definition screen from 8 feet away. The glasses also feature a built-in camera that takes 5-megapixel photos and video at 720p. Audio is delivered to wearers through their bones, using bone-conduction transducers.
The topic of Google Glass potentially being worn by drivers was raised in March 2013 in West Virginia, where a state legislator introduced a bill that would have banned driving by persons wearing head-mounted displays, including Google Glass. But the bill stalled and never came up for a vote in 2013.