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Woman Ticketed for Wearing 'Google Glass' Found Not Guilty

A California Highway Patrol officer initially stopped Cecilia Abadie of Temecula for speeding on I-15 but also cited her for watching television via a prototype eyeglass-style Google Glass wearable computer.

A Google Glass headset is a wearable computer being tested by Google (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Google Glass headset is a wearable computer being tested by Google (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

In the first traffic case of its kind, a Temecula woman was found not guilty today of watching television via a pair of computerized Google glasses while driving on a San Diego freeway.

Commissioner John Blair found at a hearing in San Diego that Cecilia Abadie was not actively using the Google Glass device when she was stopped.

A speeding ticket also was dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

Defense attorney William Concidine said the acquittal shows officers must establish that a Google Glass wearer was actually using the device -- in the same way someone accused of texting while driving must be shown to have actually violated the law.

"That's something that can be relied on by drivers," the attorney said. "You won't get ticketed for just wearing Google Glass or just having a phone in your car. There's still some protection against being cited unjustly and unlawfully."

A California Highway Patrol officer issued the citation Oct. 29. Abadie was initially pulled over for speeding on Interstate 15 but was also cited for watching television via a prototype eyeglass-style Google Glass wearable computer. She was among 10,000 "explorers" chosen to try out the devices before they were sold publicly.

Concidine said Abadie's Google Glass device was not on when she was driving, but was activated when she looked up at the officer during the stop.

After the incident, Abadie identified herself on a social-networking page as the recipient of the ticket and posted a photo of it.

"Is Google Glass illegal while driving or is this cop wrong???" she asked. "Any legal advice is appreciated!! ... Do you know any other Glass Explorers that got a similar ticket anywhere in the U.S.?"

She said today that as a hands-free device, Google Glass is "completely superior" to a cellphone.

In a Q-and-A section on its website, Google says "most states have passed laws limiting the use of mobile devices while driving any motor vehicle, and most states post those rules on their department of motor vehicles websites."

"Read up and follow the law!" the site warns. "Above all, even when you're following the law, don't hurt yourself or others by failing to pay attention to the road."

Google Glass features a thumbnail-size transparent display on the lens in front of the right eye.

—City News Service

ChrisG January 17, 2014 at 09:24 AM
I would be interested to know how she got off on the speeding ticket. Was it because the officer was a no-show at traffic court? I do not like the idea of someone driving while wearing this device whether it is in or off. It is to distracting and obstructing to wear while driving. She obviously got pulled over because she caught the officers attention, either speeding or some other reason. We have too many cars on the road and drivers need to be vigilant. Why add another distraction?
Cousin Clem January 17, 2014 at 10:11 AM
WAS SHE SPEEDING BECAUSE SHE WAS WATCHING THE GOOGLE GLASS? WE WILL NEVER KNOW. We will never know whether she was watching or not. It would be a serious detraction to be watching. There should be no good reason to wear it if not watching. It would certainly be distraction that would result in many accidents and even deaths. I hate to add new laws, but they will have to in this case, that the persons driving may not wear it even if turned off. ----------------------------------------------- How many persons will have to be maimed or killed before they get a new law passed?
Scarf ace January 17, 2014 at 11:35 AM
Great, I am glad she was found not guilty. She should have been warned and not cited for wearing the device. The CHP will do anything for a stat that's why they are known as Triple A with a badge. Go fight real crime and stop pulling over soccer moms.
Louann Spiegel Gates January 17, 2014 at 11:37 AM
As Chris G said, "why add another distraction?" It appears there are a lot of people out there driving who have no common sense and/or just don't care about their safety and other drivers around them. Traffic is terrible and speeds too fast. All you need is another distraction that takes your concentration away from the road. The court should have made an example out of her and given her a big fine!
Steve Newman January 17, 2014 at 12:02 PM
ChrisG- the citing officer was in court- the speeding charge was also dismissed because the court administrator said the office had no proof. The office got on the wrong side of the administrator when his cell went off twice during proceedings. So this case was lost after that- rule 1- don't tick of the judge.
ChrisG January 17, 2014 at 12:31 PM
@cousin, new laws are not required. They already have one called reckless driving that should be used instead of driving while talking, driving while texting, etc.
ChrisG January 17, 2014 at 12:42 PM
@scarf, the CHP stands for California Highway Patrol. They were doing their job. She was pulled over because she was speeding. Then was dumb enough to be wearing those glasses when the cop got to her window. Why do you want distracted drivers on our roads?
Callitlikeitis January 17, 2014 at 01:51 PM
Does anyone know if Google had any legal representation involved in this case?

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