By on January 18, 2014

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It seemed like just the right case to start the public debate on driving-while-#GlassExploing: Google Glass aficionada Cecilia Abadie was snagged doing 80 in a 65 on a San Diego freeway while wearing the device. (Clearly, the real headline here should be: Attractive Woman Wears Nerd Glasses: Only In California.) The CHP ticketed her for the speed and also for “driving with a monitor visible in violation of California Vehicle Code 27602.”

Miss Abadie did not deny wearing the glasses.

She posted a photo of the citation on her Google+ page above, which was both proof of the incident and of the fact that a woman has signed up to use Google+. One can only guess at the carefully-JavaScripted marriage proposals she’s receiving over RESTful services right now. The below video, which your author admittedly could only watch for seven seconds before starting to daydream that he was jumping an SLS AMG Black Series over an Olympic-sized swimming pool filled with hammerhead sharks, offers some of her thoughts on the device.

When it came time to face the court, Ms. Abadie denied that she was speeding but proudly admitted to wearing The Glasses Of The Future. The stage was set to wrangle out of the future of heads-up device use in the United States… but then a San Diego court commissioner dismissed both the monitor-watching and the speeding charges, saying that he could find no evidence that Ms. Abadie was using the Google Glasses while driving. Insofar as Ms. Abadie clearly stated that she was doing so, this amounts to case allergy on the part of the court. One can almost imagine the anonymous commissioner washing his hands while some Pharisees watch him do it. (What’s the modern equivalent of a Pharisee? An intellectual-property attorney?)

Your humble author is very much looking forward to seeing some actual court rulings on this matter, because it places two of California’s favorite things into uncomfortable juxtaposition. On one hand, there’s the official state policy that looking at anything from a 27″ Curtis-Mathes to the externally-mounted fiber-optic turn-signal notifiers on one’s Eldorado constitutes attempted murder via distracted driving. On the other hand, there’s the fact that Google in its infinite political power wishes to make the Google Glass a permanent wearable for everyone. No doubt politicians will be thrashing around in their beds at night, wondering if acting against Google Glass will cause their names to appear in election-year search autocompletes with “molester of infant goats”. Let the games begin!

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32 Comments on “Given A Chance To Make A Ruling On Google Glass, The Court Kicks The Can...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    ” The CHP ticketed her for the speed and also for “driving with a monitor visible in violation of California Vehicle Code 27602.”

    This needs clarification. Wouldn’t this in effect outlaw in dash infotainment systems and any kind of GPS Nav system?

    EDIT:
    “27602. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen, or any other similar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal that produces entertainment or business applications, is operating and is located in the motor vehicle at a point forward of the back of the driver’s seat, or is operating and the monitor, screen, or display is visible to the driver while driving the motor vehicle.

    (b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to the following equipment when installed in a vehicle:

    (1) A vehicle information display.

    (2) A global positioning display.

    (3) A mapping display.

    (4) A visual display used to enhance or supplement the driver’s view forward, behind, or to the sides of a motor vehicle for the purpose of maneuvering the vehicle.

    (5) A television receiver, video monitor, television or video screen, or any othersimilar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal, if that equipment satisfies one of the following requirements:
    (A) The equipment has an interlock device that, when the motor vehicle is driven, disables the equipment for all uses except as a visual display as described in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive.

    (B) The equipment is designed, operated, and configured in a manner that prevents the driver of the motor vehicle from viewing the television broadcast or video signal while operating the vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner.

    (6) A mobile digital terminal that is fitted with an opaque covering that does not allow the driver to view any part of the display while driving, even though the terminal may be operating, installed in a vehicle that is owned or operated by any of the following:

    (A) An electrical corporation, as defined in Section 218 of the Public Utilities Code.

    (B) A gas corporation, as defined in Section 222 of the Public Utilities Code.

    (C) A sewer system corporation, as defined in Section 230.6 of the Public Utilities Code.

    (D) A telephone corporation, as defined in Section 234 of the Public Utilities Code.

    (E) A water corporation, as defined in Section 241 of the Public Utilities Code.

    (F) A local publicly owned electric utility, as defined in Section Section 224.3 of the Public Utilities Code.

    (G) A city, joint powers agency, or special district, if that local entity uses the vehicle solely in the provision of sewer service, gas service, water service, or wastewater service.

    (c) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a mobile digital terminal installed in an authorized emergency vehicle or to a motor vehicle providing emergency road service or roadside assistance.

    (d) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a mobile digital terminal installed in a vehicle when the vehicle is deployed in an emergency to respond to an interruption or impending interruption of electrical, natural gas, telephone, sewer, water, or wastewater service, and the vehicle is owned or operated by any of the following:

    (1) An electrical corporation, as defined in Section 218 of the Public Utilities Code.

    (2) A gas corporation, as defined in Section 222 of the Public Utilities Code.

    (3) A sewer system corporation, as defined in Section 230.6 of the Public Utilities Code.

    (4) A telephone corporation, as defined in Section 234 of the Public Utilities Code.

    (5) A water corporation, as defined in Section 241 of the Public Utilities Code.

    (6) A local publicly owned electric utility, as defined in Section Section 224.3 of the Public Utilities Code.

    (7) A city, joint powers agency, or special district, if that local entity uses the vehicle solely in the provision of sewer service, gas service, water service, or wastewater service.”

    Ok, so this is pretty clear

    • 0 avatar
      Larry P2

      This ticket is an example of how modern police view the citizenry they are sworn to protect:

      As meat-covered, self-propelled ATM machines.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Oh, sweet serendipity! Could Google Glass be the way to attack and outlaw these idiot dash displays?

      Wish I could find a 65 where everyone *wasn’t* doing 80.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        The last ticket I got was 81mph in a 65mph zone. The state trooper told me If I kept it under 80 no one would bother me. I have and have not gotten any more tickets. 79 mph is the unofficial Wisconsin speed limit, now about those “left-laners”…

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “now about those “left-laners”…”

          I wonder what that’s like… driving in the left lane. I know a couple guys from Illinoisss… I’ll ask ‘em.

        • 0 avatar
          mypoint02

          This is true. The reason being that higher fines kick in at 15 over on the freeway. It’s nearly $100 more once you hit 80 or more. I received a ticket for 80 in a 65 on I-94 and the cop said it would have been half as much if I had been going 1 MPH slower. I did end up getting both the fine and charge reduced, but lesson learned. I keep it under 80 and have been fine ever since.

    • 0 avatar
      badcoffee

      and the police are still allowed to check their email and facebook at 85 mph on the built in laptops.

      God Bless America

      • 0 avatar
        WhiskerDaVinci

        They aren’t allowed to. Prove they’re doing it and report it, they get in trouble for it if you call them out on it in some instances. At least in states that really push the issue anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      WhiskerDaVinci

      It should, which is part of the reason why in-dash infotainment and GPS either warn you, or in some instances for you to hit agree in regards to not using them while driving. By being given access to them, you’ve agreed not to use them beyond a quick glance, as you would a normal stereo screen or instrument.

      Or at least that’s what my family attorney told me once when I asked why cars had those warnings when turning them on.

  • avatar
    sachi

    I was just going to post that!

    I’m a semi-retired CA criminal attorney, and my sense was that the court saw a difference between simply wearing the Glass and using it. The law bars a device that “is operating” as well as located where the driver can see it. There presumably was no evidence that the Glass was “operating,” so the judge properly dismissed the charge.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Problem is the “glass” is not actually installed like a infotainment system/GPS. It’s pretty much like having a cell phone, yet hands free. Could you use your cell phone in the state if it was on the GPS fuction?

    Let’s face it, things are quickly becoming a nanny state. The fact that this woman, or anybody else for that matter, should have to waste their time on this is nonsense. This is what socialism and big government bring when they take root, period.

    On the flip side, I’d never be caught dead looking like such a loser with a computer strapped around my head. But then again, I just junked the smart phone after a year and I’m going back to a regular phone; no internet, texting, etc. I just don’t see the point in in getting caught up in this new wired (or wireless?) world.

  • avatar
    Hemi

    You know people wearing these are very annoying and I routinely see them throughout various parts of NYC. Most people cannot multitask and walk while using these, they sure as shit shouldnt be driving with them. I think it’s still in explorer/testing phase, so I find them acting like snobs and always talking in the air. I’d rank them up there with Bluetooth hands free users in parks, walking down the street or blabbing away at coffee shops.

    I’m also waiting for the reports of thugs snatching these off people from NYC subways to start once available to mass public…. It would be cool if a “stolen mode” would be added, which would constantly blink a red led and emit a GPS sIgnal when turned on rendering it useless.

    Then again I’m also very anti using the phone while driving, I have Bluetooth built in my vehicle and use it to answer calls. I won’t use it for extended conversations, or text, surf and email like most people I see doing here. Recently I’ve had 2 friends involved in accidents where the other party was on the phone, ran a redlight/stop sign and T boned them. People need to get thier heads out of their asses and pay attention.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    For the case to have set a precedent, it would have to gone to the appeals court, and then the ruling would have to be published.

    There wasn’t any chance of that here. She brought a lawyer to traffic court, which changed everything.

    Many traffic court judges will ignore most of your Sixth Amendment rights if you represent yourself. But having an attorney buys you temporary membership into the Criminal Justice Club, allowing for the possibility that you could actually have a fair trial with the presumption of innocence.

  • avatar
    mic

    I loved the Pilate metaphor! Who would be the Sanhedrin crying out for crucifixion? (sp?)

  • avatar
    Juan Barnett

    What happens when Facebook updates, stock information, etc. scroll across the heads-up display in your C7? Is that keeping you from looking away from the road? Or should this too be considered distracting?

  • avatar
    claytori

    That California Statute appears to outlaw using the built-in screens on vehicles for controlling the radio/sound systems on the vehicle, as these would come under the “entertainment” prohibition. This also appears to be true of my local Ontario HTA.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    “Attractive woman”? Clearly you are still on your pain meds because we must not be looking at the same woman.

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    Why I hate people from Temecula, so glad to be out of that Hell hole. That’s where the driver hails from. She was actually popped in San Diego. Temecula is notorious for hyper aggressive tailgaters, erratic and distracted drivers in BMW’s and huge lifted trucks, and they bring their nasty habits with them…. I’m sure the Google Glasses will HELP with that……

    Not suprised she fought it, even though she was SPEEDING. Here’s an idea; leave the glasses at home and focus on driving! What a novel concept!

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Temecula is a bedroom community largely overrun by those that work and play in San Diego. Except they couldn’t handle the rent/mortgage of “America’s Finest City”, or north/east SD county. I consider SD the upscale part of Tijuana, myself.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    “Kicking the can down the road” has become so prevalent in legislatures and government offices that it’s not surprising that courts are now doing it. There’s no place for the buck to stop anymore.


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