Google Glass Driving Case Thrown Out of Court

Google GlassA Google Glass tester who was ticketed for wearing the device while driving has seen her case dismissed.

Cecilia Abadie was pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer in October for speeding, but when officer realized that she was wearing Google Glass, he added the felony charge of watching a TV monitor while driving.

The San Diego municipal court ruled however that there was no proof that the head mounted screen was turned on at the time, a fact that Abadie denied.

Commissioner John Blair told the courtroom that there was "the purview and intent" to breach the law by viewing a computer monitor while driving, but there was no way of proving that a crime had actually taken place.

This leaves the legality of wearing Google Glass while driving unresolved. Although Abadie's felony charge was dismissed, the rules regarding the use of Google Glass are still far from clear and based on laws that predate the new technology. Therefore, this doesn't mean that Google Glass has been cleared for use on public roads in the U.S. and the same situation could reoccur.

"I believe we have to start experimenting with devices like this...," the acquitted Abadie told reporters. "A hands-free device is safer than a cell phone."

There's something mildly annoying about this ruling, however. Not because we wanted to see a conviction, but because there's no closure. We're no clearer than we were before about the rules regarding the use of Google Glass, and there's no sign that anything is going to be done to clear up the confusion any time soon.

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.

About the author

Chris Merriman is a freelance technology journalist. He graduated from the University of Sunderland a very long time ago. He got his first smartphone in 2003 and his first soldering iron in 1989. Before joining The INQUIRER, he divided his time between managing social media campaigns, music and tech journalism, radio presenting and DJing in London's glittering West End. His love of all things tech is inherited from his grandfather, who worked on NASA's Apollo program and used to keep discarded rocket prototypes in the garage to cannibalise for odd jobs round the house. Chris writes for technology publications including V3 and The INQUIRER.