Driving While Under the Influence of Google Glass

Distracted driving, as discussed here, can be caused by occurrences both in and outside of the moving vehicle. I was reading about this Google Glass case in the news the other day, and realized the significance that has to all commuters and even those engaged in other protected activities. Thursday a Temecula woman was found not guilty in traffic court of a distracted driving charge in connection with wearing Google Glass while driving.  The woman identified as Cecilia Abadie age 44 is believed to be the first driver ticketed for wearing the computer eye ware. The Google Glass is not on the market and Abedie was testing the product, along with other individuals nationwide. From what I have seen of her, she appears to be a patriot, and freedom loving woman.  Bravo to her for fighting back against unfair, arbitrary and capricious traffic citations, which are designed to raise money and not to protect the people.

San Diego Traffic Commissioner John Blair ruled that the Google Glass Explorers could be covered under distracted driving codes. In his ruling, Blair said that while this could be a valid charge, police must prove the product was in use at the time Abadie was stopped.  The woman was stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer on October 29th, while traveling north on Interstate 15 in northern San Diego County. She was issued a ticket for a violation of driving a vehicle  Code 27602, “if a television receiver, video monitor, television or video screen is visible.” Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia have legislation pending to ban driving with Google Glass Explorers.

The California code does not specifically mention Google Glass, which Abadie’s attorney argued that without mentioning the computer eyeware, it could not be used base a ticket on. Blair determined the vehicle code could be used for this type of charge. Along with the charge for wearing the Google Glass, Abadie was issued a speeding ticket for going 80 mph in a 65 mph zone. Blair dismissed the speeding charge, due to lack of evidence.

Leaving the courtroom, the woman said that the traffic commissioner did things right and she felt very good. She later posted on her Facebook page thanking people who had followed her case and had supported her innocence.  Abadie testified that the glasses were not turned on when she was stopped. She commented on her Facebook page that “Yes, we can continue to be Cyborgs even when we drive!” Then she said that she was happy for fellow Google Glass Explorers that were awaiting the decision in her case.

This brave woman has brought some attention to this. So much so, I wrote a piece on how the attention may actually destroy more freedoms when politicians use it to pass more Draconian laws to protect us from ourselves. Can you think of some other examples of people who wear prescription Google Glass being unfairly singled out, or targeted by police? We think that common sense should prevail.  People can be distracted by anything. An intelligent driver, law or not, we drive safely. Those who do not are already in violation of their social contract to behave reasonably. What do you think?

Citations:

LA Times Article

 More Fights Could Follow

About Author

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Michael Ehline is a prolific blogger on California and international tort law. He has been a guest on CNN, discussed in major news publications like Forbes, Circle of Legal Trust, Personal Injury Warriors, and International Cruise Victims. He has lobbied congress on behalf of injured consumers, served as a United States Marine, and won millions of dollars for his clients. This blog discusses Ehline's insights and musings on all aspects of negligence law as it relates to all things "accidents." Ehline can be reached at (213) 596-9642.