A court commissioner for San Diego has just dismissed traffic violation charges brought against Cecilia Abadie related to her wearing of Google Glass while driving. This is probably the first actual and favorable legal outcome surrounding Google‘s smart eyewear.
Abadie’s brush with the law started late October when she was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol on Interstate 15 in San Diego. According to the officer, Keith Odle, the 44-year old woman was estimated to be driving at a speed of 85 miles per hour in a zone whose speed limit is 65 miles per hour. That charge was dismissed by Court Commissioner John Blair because of a lack of evidence to establish Abadie’s actual driving speed. An expert witness failed to appear in court to testify to the calibration of the speedometer used in the incident.
But more interesting is the second citation given to Abadie. She was charged by Officer Odle for using a visual monitor in her car while driving. In California law, this usually referred to using cellphones. Odle said he was not planning on ticketing Abadie for wearing Google Glass until she became quite argumentative about the legality of wearing them.
This charge was likewise dismissed. But this was mostly due to the fact that there was no hard evidence to indicate that Abadie was actually using Google Glass while driving. In what could be a legal precedent for future Google Glass cases, Blair said that Google Glass falls within the purview and intent of California law banning the use of such monitors while driving.
Abadie was, of course, pleased with the outcome of her case. She is a firm believer in the advantages that Google Glass brings, even to those driving, saying that Google Glass does not have any blind spot and that it is a lot safer than using a cell phone. Google’s stance is a bit more cautious, exhorting Glass users to use the device responsibly and put the safety first.