California woman gets first ticket for driving with Google Glass

Google Glass worn by a user. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

TORONTO – Google Glass has stirred up its fair share of privacy concerns, but a new conversation surrounding the wearable technology has recently come up – is it safe to drive while wearing Glass?

On Wednesday, a California-based Google Glass explorer – a nickname given to those who shelled out $1500 for the developer version of the device – received what is believed to be the first ticket for driving with Google Glass.

Cecilia Abadie posted an image of the ticket on her Google+ profile early Wednesday morning explaining that she had been pulled over by an officer for wearing the Internet-connected Glasses.

“Is Google Glass illegal while driving or is this cop wrong? Any legal advice is appreciated,” wrote Abadie.

An image of the ticket posted to her Google+ profile shows that the officer described the offense as, “Driving with monitor visible to driver (Google Glass).”

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Screenshot of Abadie’s Google+ profile.

Google Glass is Google’s first foray in wearable tech. The Internet-connected Glasses use a small screen located in front of the user’s right eye to display notifications such as call alerts, text message alerts and breaking news alerts.

Users are also able to take pictures, record video and look up maps and information on Google using voice commands.

When wearing Glass the user sees notifications appear in the top right corner of their eye, but it does not obstruct all of their vision.

“He broke out talking about how Glass was blocking my vision and he could not completely see my right eye,” she wrote.

Abadie did not mention on her Google+ page how much she was fined, however when replying user comments on her Google+ page she did note that she intends to fight the ticket in court.

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The original post of the ticket on her profile has received over 500 comments.

Users commenting on the post expressed their outrage over the officer’s decision to ticket Abadie; others urged her to fight the ticket, some even offering legal advice. Other users were quick to point out that California’s driving laws may allow police to ticket Glass wearers.

Read More: Google Glass explorer aims to make Toronto most Glass-friendly city in the world

“Glass receives a video signal and can display business applications (email, texts, etc.). It’s thus specifically covered by the statute [V C Section 27602 Television, Department of Motor Vehicles]. GPS is specifically allowed by the statute. Anything similar to a computer or TV monitor is illegal. Whether it’s on or not is irrelevant,” wrote one user.

A Wichita State University psychology professor and fellow Google Glass explorer Jibo He is currently researching whether Glass is safe to use while operating a vehicle.

In an interview with the Wichita Business Journal in July, He said that getting directions from Glass may help keep the driver’s eyes on the road, more research into the device needs to be done. Results of the study are expected to be released sometime in November.


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