Woman gets traffic ticket for wearing Google Glass

The ticket and, inset, Cecilia Abadie. Pictures: Contributed
The ticket and, inset, Cecilia Abadie. Pictures: Contributed
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A WOMAN has been given a traffic ticket for driving whilst using the controversial Google Glass eyewear in the first such case of its kind.

Cecilia Abadie was pulled over by a cop in San Diego, California and given a ticket under a law which is supposed to stop people from watching TV in the car.

On the ticket the cop wrote the reason for the offence: ‘Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass)’.

Miss Abadie is being urged to challenge the ticket, but if she is convicted it could set a worrying precedent for Google.

Google Glass, which costs $1,500 a pair (£980), is currently on limited release to 2,000 people but will be more widely available later this year.

It has caused concern because the device has a camera next to the wearer’s eye which can take photos or records video without a red light or a shutter sound to tell others that it is working.

Users are also able to search on the Internet with voice commands and the results appear on the glass screen in front of their eye - potentially distracting drivers.

Miss Abadie, a product manager at a golf company, wrote on Tuesday on social network Google+: ‘A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving!

‘Is #GoogleGlass ilegal while driving or is this cop wrong???

‘Any legal advice is appreciated!! This happened in California. Do you know any other #GlassExplorers that got a similar ticket anywhere in the US?’

She posted a photo of the original ticket which suggests she may have been going fast than the 65mph speed limit in addition to wearing Google Glass.

Her post sparked a debate on Google+ with some users saying she should challenge it and that the law was ‘amazingly ambiguous.’

Friend Matt Abdou wrote: ‘Please please please, fight this in court. We need to get a ruling on this. I’m sure we can get a good collection together to pay for a proper attorney.’

But Michael Molock wrote: ‘People are distracted enough without getting a text about nothing while driving.

‘It’s a distraction pure and simple. What information, while driving is more important the paying attention to the “real world” around you?’

The relevant section of the California driving law reads: ‘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.’

Google Glass has proved controversial before and a Google Glass porn app was banned instantly after X-rated film producers said they wanted to use it to explore point-of-view shots.

Cafe owners in the US have banned it from their premises to respect the privacy of customers.

And Japanese researchers have developed ‘Anti Google Glass’ technology which stops those wearing the specs from seeing their face.