-Cecilia Abadie, who describes herself as a “Geek” and a “Google Glass Pioneer” on her Google+ pageA cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing GoogleGOOG -0.56% Glass while driving! The exact line says: Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass). Is #GoogleGlass illegal while driving or is this cop wrong??? Any legal advice is appreciated!! This happened in California.
Let us assist, Ms. Abadie.
The San Diego police officer who pulled you over cited California Vehicle Code Section 27602, which says this:
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.San Diego traffic lawyer Michael Rehm told Law Blog the application of the law to Google Glass was a stretch, unless Ms. Abadie happened to be watching video while driving. (She says the gadget wasn’t on.)
“If you’re actually watching a video…..I would say it’s a violation,” Mr. Rehm said. “But simply having them on and the fact that you can get updates on the glasses, that’s like ticketing someone for having a smartphone in their center console.”
“I don’t see a violation. I think it’s defensible,” Mitchell Mehdy, a traffic lawyer in San Diego better known as “Mr. Ticket,” told Law Blog. “How is this guy psychically gonna know what she’s looking at?” Mr. Mehdy said the law makes exceptions for GPS and mapping displays, so even if Ms. Abadie had the glasses switched on, there are functions she likely would have been permitted to use.
Kirk Elliott of law firm Roberts & Elliott LLP said police may have had a better shot citing Ms. Abadie under another section of the vehicle code that prohibits drivers from having items in their car that obstruct their view.
“There’s no violation, unless they can claim on that right-hand side, Google Glass obstructs your peripheral view to the right,” he said. (Mr. Elliott, after watching a Google Glass demonstration online, said he was unconvinced they posed such an obstruction.)
Ms. Abadie was pulled over for speeding. (“I was in a 65 mph zone and thought I was on [sic] a 75 mph zone,” she said on her Google+ page.) Here is her account of what happened next:
When [the police officer] asked why was I wearing Glass while driving…I said I wear this all day long! I think he was trying to make me say what I was using it for so he kept asking why why why, but then when he saw [what] my answer was I’m not using it just wearing it, he broke out talking about how Glass was blocking my vision and he could not completely see my right eye.Detective Gary Hassen, spokesman for the San Diego Police Department, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Google, by the way, tells Glass users (wearers?) to know the law before driving around with their specs on. From its FAQ on Google Glass:
As you probably know, 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! Above all, even when you’re following the law, don’t hurt yourself or others by failing to pay attention to the road. The same goes for bicycling: whether or not any laws limit your use of Glass, always be careful.Legislators in at least two states, Delaware and West Virginia, have submitted bills that would place Google Glass in the same category as cell phones, with an eye to banning its use while driving.
end quote from:
Wearing Google Glass and Driving: The Next Traffic Violation?
If you are wearing Google Glass or Google Glasses how is the policeman to know if you have it on or off. He has to assume you have it switched on otherwise why would you be wearing it while driving?