A San Diego Municipal Court dismissed charges relating to the use of Google Glass while driving against local resident Cecilia Abadie. The court handed down its ruling on Thursday, with the presiding court commissioner saying there was no definitive evidence that the wearable device with built-in monitor was turned on at the time she was pulled over. The court also dismissed a speeding charge against Ms. Abadie.
Ms. Abadie was pulled over in October of last year for speeding. The California Highway Patrol officer also cited her for wearing Google Glass under California vehicle code 27602, which forbids operating any video display in a location where it can distract the driver.
Abadie is a product manager who typically wears her Google Glass 12 hours a day. She even wore the device around her neck in the courtroom.
Statement from California Highway Patrol
California Highway Patrol Public Affairs Officer Jake Sanchez made a statement when contacted by the media after the decision. “Anything that distracts you from driving is something that were concerned about,” he said. “There is no law that that specifically says Google Glass is illegal. Each officer has to take each case on a case-by-case basis,” said Sanchez.
Future ramifications of decision for Google Glass users
It should be emphasized that this decision is not a green light for users to freely to wear or use their Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) devices while driving. “It doesn’t necessarily answer the question everybody wanted: Is it legal to drive down the road wearing Google Glass while it’s operating?” according to attorney William Concidine of My Traffic Guys. Concidine and partner Gabriel Moore represented Abadie in the case.
“I do think it leaves it up in the air for Google Glass wearers,” said Concidine. “They have to wear it with the possibility that they may get a ticket that they’ll have to fight until a legislator takes some sort of action.”
Several states, including Delaware, West Virginia and New Jersey already have laws on the books that forbid wearing or using Google Glass while driving.