A California woman believed to be the first person ever ticketed for wearing Google Glass while driving, pleaded not guilty to the offense in traffic court on Tuesday, writes the Associated Press in an article appearing in USA TODAY. Google Glass is a computer in a single eyeglass that is perched above a person’s right eye, as AP writes. Although it will not be widely available to the public until 2014, approximately 10,000 people have been trying the device out since earlier this year.
As this blog reported on November 1, the woman, Cecile Abadie, 44, of Temecula, Calif., was ticketed for driving while wearing her Google Glass after being pulled over for speeding in San Diego. The officer based the ticket on California Vehicle Code 27602, which makes it a violation to drive “if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen” is visible, writes Tony Perry for the Los Angeles Times‘ L.A. NOW. Abadie also pleaded not guilty to the speeding charge.
William Concidine, Abadie’s lawyer, told AP that his client will testify at her January trial that Google Glass was not turned on while she was driving, but activated itself when she looked up at the officer as he stood by her car window. The device, AP notes, is designed to turn on when a person tilts his or her head. Concidine said that the law the ticket is based on does not apply to Google Glass because it was written before the device was invented, Perry writes.
Brian Fung, writing for The Washington Post, addresses part of the problem of wearing Google Glass while driving:
Even if Glass is dark while you’ve got your eyes on the road, if looking up at someone beside your window is enough to trigger the wake function, it’s not hard to imagine the same thing happening when you look up at the rearview mirror, or at a tall sign ahead. The thought of Glass turning on every time a driver looks up isn’t likely to endear the device to lawmakers who already want to institute a ban.
AP reports that at least three states, Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia, have introduced bills that would ban driving while wearing Google Glass. Google’s website has the following advisory about using the device 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.”
As this blog reported around the time Abadie was given the ticket:
CHP [California Highway Patrol] spokesman Jake Sanchez told Perry that discouraging distracted driving is a priority: “Anything that takes your attention away from driving — putting on makeup, eating food, talking to a passenger, watching a video, talking on the phone — is dangerous.” Sanchez added that each officer is allowed to make a judgment as to whether a law has been violated.