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Woman fights ticket for driving with Google Glass

By Justin Pritchard

Associated Press


LOS ANGELES >> A California woman pleaded not guilty today to what is believed to be the first traffic citation alleging a motorist was using Google's computer-in-an-eyeglass.

The device, known as Google Glass, features a thumbnail-size transparent display above the right eye.

The technology will not be made widely available to the public until 2014, but defendant Cecilia Abadie was one of about 10,000 "explorers" who received the glasses earlier this year as part of a tryout.

Her case touches several hot-button issues, including distracted driving, wearable technology that will one day become mainstream, and how laws often lag technological developments.

Abadie was pulled over in October on suspicion of going 80 mph in a 65 mph zone on a San Diego freeway. The California Highway Patrol officer saw she was wearing Google Glass and tacked on a citation usually given to people driving while a video or TV screen is on in the front of their vehicle.

Abadie, a software developer and tech true believer, pleaded not guilty to both charges in San Diego traffic court.

Her attorney William Concidine told The Associated Press that she will testify at a trial scheduled for January that the glasses were not on when she was driving, and activated when she looked up at the officer as he stood by her window.

The device is designed to respond to a head tilt by waking itself up.

Concidine also said the vehicle code listed in the citation applies to video screens in vehicles and is not relevant to mobile technology such as Google Glass.

The CHP declined comment on Concidine's assertions.

"This has to play out in court," spokeswoman Fran Clader said.

At the time of Abadie's citation, the agency said anything which takes a driver's attention from the road is dangerous and should be discouraged.

The lightweight frames are equipped with a hidden camera and tiny display that responds to voice commands. The technology can be used to do things such as check email, learn background about something the wearer is looking at, or to get driving directions.

Legislators in at least three states -- Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia -- have introduced bills that would specifically ban driving with Google Glass.

Chris Dale, a spokesman for the tech giant, said he was not aware of any other tickets issued for driving with Google Glass.

Google's website contains an advisory about using the headgear while driving: "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."

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eoe wrote:
I find it funny that these devices are not even widely available, yet already anyone who wears one is known as a glass-hole.
on December 3,2013 | 12:56PM
false wrote:
IF its a distraction then it should be illegal.
on December 3,2013 | 02:21PM
totally agree.
on December 3,2013 | 03:14PM
jtamura69 wrote:
The problem is that the police are not judges or lawyers, they don't know the law, they just give you a ticket if they're not sure. Even if the device was'nt on, it's easier for the police to give you a ticket, then you have to fight it in court. It's like you're guilty until you prove yourself innocent.
on December 3,2013 | 02:52PM
Dude, she's guilty. Get rid of the distractions. If you dont feel the same way, then it's only a matter of time before you somebody runs into your rear-end with those glasses being the cause.
on December 3,2013 | 03:16PM
jtamura69 wrote:
Yes, I agree with you. But everything is a distraction, the radio, the air conditioning, the GPS. They are even making cars now with a display in your dash console. How do you get rid of all these distractions? Easier said than done.
on December 3,2013 | 04:15PM
primowarrior wrote:
Would wearing one of these be sort of like holding your smartphone out in front of you while driving? Seems like that would be illegal, and so should wearing a Google Glass while driving.
on December 3,2013 | 04:28PM
BRock wrote:
If it isn't in your hand, it ain't against the law. Do your homework.
on December 3,2013 | 08:27PM
entrkn wrote:
Google will pay the ticket, right Google?
on December 3,2013 | 09:14PM
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