The Inquirer-Home

Google Glass driving case is thrown out of court

There was no proof it was on at the time
Fri Jan 17 2014, 11:33
Google Glass update will offer ear bud support and ability to add lens as firms pushes capabilities

THE GOOGLE GLASS TESTER who was ticketed for wearing the device while driving has seen her case dismissed.

Cecilia Abadie was pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer in October for speeding, but when officer realised that she was wearing Google Glass, he added the felony charge of watching a TV monitor while driving.

The San Diego municipal court ruled however that there was no proof that the head mounted screen was turned on at the time, a fact that Abadie denied.

Commissioner John Blair told the courtroom that there was "the purview and intent" to breach the law by viewing a computer monitor while driving, but there was no way of proving that a crime had actually taken place.

This leaves the legality of wearing Google Glass while driving unresolved. Although Ms Abadie's felony charge was dismissed, the rules regarding the use of Google Glass are still far from clear and based on laws that predate the new technology. Therefore, this doesn't mean that Google Glass has been cleared for use on public roads in the US and the same situation could reoccur.

In the UK, when The INQUIRER asked a police spokesperson about Google Glass in November, we were told categorically that the device is not permitted on our roads.

The police said, "Regulation 109 of the Construction and Use (motor vehicle) Regulations makes it an offence to drive a motor vehicle on a road if the driver can see whether directly or by reflection any cinematographic apparatus used to display anything other than information about the state of vehicle, to assist the driver to see the road ahead or adjacent to him/her or to navigate to his/her destination."

Meanwhile, the acquitted Ms Abadie told reporters, "I believe we have to start experimenting with devices like this... A hands-free device is safer than a cell phone."

There's something mildly annoying about this ruling, however. Not because we wanted to see a conviction, but because there's no closure. We're no clearer than we were before about the rules regarding the use of Google Glass, and there's no sign that anything is going to be done to clear up the confusion any time soon. µ


Share this:

blog comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to INQ newsletters

Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ

INQ Poll

Happy new year!

What tech are you most looking forward to in 2015