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Traffic Citation Against Woman Wearing Google Glass Thrown Out by Judge in California

In October of 2013, Cecilia Abadie made headlines all around the tech industry after being issued a traffic citation for wearing Google Glass while driving. Initially, the CHP (CA Highway Patrol) officer initiated a traffic stop after Abadie was speeding, but then noticed that she was wearing Google Glass. Since California drivers are not allowed to have a TV screen or any type monitor in use directly in front of them while driving, she was issued a second ticket.

Yesterday in a California courtroom, a judge ruled that since the officer couldn’t prove beyond reasonable doubt that Abadie was using the device, and Google Glass’ screen was on while she was driving, she was not breaking the law and dismissed the citation. 

While this is a major win for Abadie, the ruling sets no real legal precedent as to whether Google Glass will be completely legal while behind the wheel of a car in California. For now, the law seems to only care if Google Glass is turned on and spitting out navigations while you are behind the wheel. If you happen to own a pair of Glass, we would continue to recommend that you not use Glass while driving, since you could still get a citation.

Enjoy the sweet smell of a small victory, glassholes.

Via: Reuters | ABC News
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  • MichaelCrackMonkey

    I am surprised at an honest Judge that used common sense and understood the idea of innocent until “Proven” guilty. Most judges in traffic cases just decide you are guilty because it’s revenue for the government.

  • Wyveryx

    So what’s worse, looking down to your instrument cluster to judge speed and other vehicle information or…Seeing said information via a HUD that you either wear or is on the windshield?
    The state needs to wake up to useful tech.

    • Chris

      One is “normal” and one makes you look like a dumb ass

      • Wyveryx

        So you define normal as never changing? Also is it you that also defines what makes one look like a dumb ass?

  • Cedarson

    I think we can all agree when I say, “…HAHA, Officer Dumbass.”

  • Higher_Ground

    Typical justice system – pursue a case they know they can’t win because they have zero evidence, forcing the defendent to pay out the rear for lawyer fees that were ultimately unncessary. And they really don’t care, because they get paid either way – only your life gets tossed in the air while it happens.

  • Davros

    How is GG any different than the heads up displays that project your dash and gps on the windshield?

  • Nathan Borup

    “glassholes…” lol nice touch

  • Patrick Crumpler

    Seems like Google needs to get a mediator involved for some safety testing. If Google knows your driving it would probably inhibit the use of hangouts and other diatarcting apps. But for navigation and other secondary controls it would presumably be more safe.

    • JoshGroff

      Hello driving mode, GPS only. Combine that with the Moto X and Assist, and you’re practically distraction free. Maybe have the Google glass display GPS only with a verbal command so it’s only up when needed, that would be legit.

  • Kirk Mosquera


    • Mike

      FYI, police don’t use the laptop while they are DRIVING, dash cam is on the corner of the windshield which is legal in CA, I don’t know about the other states. Like the dash cam the radar is also on the corner of the windshield on the dash. I speak as a former policeman in CA

      • Nathan Borup

        not true… i’ve seen many a police officers type on their laptop while i have been driving right next to them

        • John Legere

          A cop almost hit me when he was texting. Should have gotten closer to him. Nice settlement payout.

        • Ourhy4104

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        • michael arazan

          I guarantee you they do for as many times my friend and I were pulled over between the ages of 16 and 21. By law you can ask to see the radar gun and they have to show you your speed. We’ve asked questions and a few say they run your plates before even pulling you over.

      • Paul
        • Nathan Borup

          lol… nice find!

      • NeilGeorge

        Sorry Mike, just yesterday while driving home I saw a cop using his laptop while he was driving.. Another cop talking on his cellphone while he was driving last week…

      • Higher_Ground

        nevertheless, it does give the impression of quite the double standard (not that there aren’t plenty of those already)

      • Liderc

        Maybe not all of them, but I witnessed a cop on his laptop while driving on facebook. It’s irresponsible to say cops are doing this as the people below have seen a cop doing something similar. I’ve seen multiple cops on their cellphone and texting, only seen one on his laptop surfing facebook though.

      • TopXKiller

        That man is playing Galaga!

      • Matthew Rosidivito

        Yes they do. -911 Dispatcher

    • antwonw

      Actually, the same laws, at least in California, that say we can’t use electronic devices such as cell phones and other devices, says that emergency personal (fire, police, etc.) can use them. I saw just last week on the news about how a police officerofficer here in Southern California ran over a man cycling in the biking lane, killing him, becausebecause he was texting/using his cell phone.

  • Cowboydroid

    a judge ruled that since the officer couldn’t prove beyond reasonable doubt …she was not breaking the law and dismissed the citation.

    While this is a major win for Abadie, the ruling sets no real legal precedent as to whether Google Glass will be completely legal while behind the wheel of a car in California.

    That is legal precedent that is hundreds of years old.

    People are innocent until proven guilty. They do not have to defend their innocence against the state.

    • Cowboydroid

      Did a police officer just downvote me?

  • Philip J. Fry

    Glassholes lol


    Meat Spin

  • Scott Webber

    Stating the obvious irony: The entire purpose of Glass is to allow you to interact with your technology without being distracted from your reality by looking away at a screen. Glass will obviously make driving safer.

    • AlpaXray

      Maybe safer than looking at a phone. Not necessarily safer over all though.

      • Scott Webber

        Safer than a navigation system built into the car, right?

        • JoshGroff

          That too, tbh prohibiting a device that has obvious benefits to drivers doesn’t make much sense.

        • Eric R.

          Safest to not use your phone at all or only use Bluetooth.

          • JoshGroff

            The debate is whether it’s safer than other GPS sources, which it is, considering you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to look at it.

        • jason

          Does Glass have built-in mechanisms to know you’re driving? If it can be only used for GPS navigating and have the rest of the features disabled then, yes, Glass is safer than current built-in nav systems.

    • KingofPing

      I hope you were being sarcastic and it just didn’t translate well for me. How anyone could see “hangouts” as “making driving safer” is well…beyond me.

      There might possibly (maybe) be more than one app right now for Glass intended to make driving safer, but I’ve only heard of one (attempting to detect if you are falling asleep).

      • Scott Webber

        No, I’m not being sarcastic. I’m talking about Navigation. I’m talking about phone calls. I’m talking about anything that used to distract people to look away from the road while driving instead of keeping their eyes on the road, INCLUDING Hangouts.

        People listen to music while driving, people listen to talk radio while driving, people listen to Majel give navigation instructions while driving, and people even have conversations with others in the car while driving. Very few of things are being outlawed. Glass is no different, and imo actually safer.

        • KingofPing

          It’s simply another screen. It’s proximity to your eye makes little difference.

          I would agree that there are some instances where the use of Glass could make driving safer (sleep detection being one, if it were reliable). I would definitely not agree that using Glass while driving is “generally” safer than not using Glass while driving. Distraction is distraction; and while I am against most laws regarding distraction on the road (including barring the use of Glass) I will not go so far as to claim Glass is not distracting, or further, that it is inherently safer than going without.

  • Grayson Carr

    Considering there’s no way for a police officer to prove whether or not the glasses are turned on, I suspect a law prohibiting wearing them at all while driving in 3, 2…

    • DanSan

      considering it was done in the peoples republik of california they have to ban it… consider all the defenseless children! ban everything quickly!

      • DanSan

        seriously a downvote? what did i offend all the commie-fornians because everything and its mother is banned or has a law regulating it in your state?

        actually, its throwing rocks in a glass house since i live in new york. this craphole isnt too far behind that sinkhole of a state.

        • Liderc

          What are you even talking about, sound like a moron.

  • John Legere

    HP in any state will give ticket for anything.

    • Tyler

      *Insert negative comment from “John Legere” about something here*

      • John Legere

        I think you’re lost.

  • ddh819

    would have been funny if the judge was wearing google glass when she gave the ruling

    • Ian

      Why? That would have just made the judge look biased.

    • Ben Murphy

      She actually wore hers around her neck in the courtroom.