Woman gets ticket for wearing Google Glass, “watching TV” while driving

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A woman in San Diego, California was pulled over yesterday and issued a ticket for driving… while wearing Google Glass. The ticket states that she was guilty of “Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass)”… or, as ArsTechnica puts it, she was ticketed for “watching ‘TV'” while driving. While she was also cited for speeding, Cecilia Abadie may have a very good reason to fight the portion of the ticket relating to Google Glass.

When the police officer issued her a ticket, he cited a Californian law that states “[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.”

However, the rule contains some exceptions: “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.”

Google Glass of course features the ability to navigate using Google Maps. It might even be one of its most useful features at this point. That and the fact the display doesn’t take her eyes off the road any more than other activities that can be performed in the car. Of course, we don’t know what Abadie was using Glass for — if for anything at all — while driving, but some commentators point out the exceptions to the law may be her loophole out of the ticket.

Whichever way this ends up going, it’s an important question that lawmakers will need to solidify their stances on. Once Google Glass makes its way into more people’s hands on its consumer release next year, there are going to be many more of them on the road.

[via Ars Technica]

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2 comments

  1. JonE

    [@greg] Agreed!

    This is a subject I’m passionate about because among other things I am and have been a professional driver; I have driven millions of miles on public highways – coast to coast and border to border. No! I’m not bragging; I have little tolerance for braggarts. But, I’ve driven enough miles to have driven through the worst weather you’ve ever seen or heard about and seen people do the stupidest things on the highway.

    When I was driving from place to place I had both a cell phone and a satellite computer with me, but never used either while I was driving.

    The number one cause of accidents is a lack of attention by being distracted by something or someone. After that it’s just a matter of brain cells if you catch my meaning. And I’ve known more than my share of pro drivers who thought they were so good at what they did that they could get away with being distracted (lack of attention) and some of them are no longer with us to testify to that fact.

    I don’t care whether it’s Google Glass or some other mobile device as simple as a cell phone. You are either paying attention to the road in front, in back of and to the side of you and yes the opposing traffic going in the opposite direction, even on a divided highway (never know when someone is going to cross that median because they are not paying attention and coming straight at YOU) or you are paying attention to something else; you can’t do both.

    You think you can? NO, you can’t!

    As I was proofing this I remembered the times I had to grab the shoulder, on a two lane road, because some idiot thought he had enough time to pass the vehicle in front. And remember being thankful that there was a shoulder to get onto. Of course passing on a two lane road is a matter of brain cells, but the point is that if I had not been paying attention I’d have been paste more than once.

  2. greg

    This will be the next “cellphone while driving” issue. I see a lot of distracted driving tickets coming, and more accidents because some drivers think that just because they can see the road, they are paying attention.