A woman given a traffic citation after wearing Google Glass while driving has been cleared of wrongdoing. However, it’s not necessarily a precedent that such behavior is legal.
Cecilia A. was pulled over in California last October on suspicion of speeding. The officer concerned then issued a separate ticket for violating California code 27602, which bars television and video devices from being used while they are visible to the driver and the car is moving.
She then quickly shared the news of her ticket (appropriately enough via Google+) and vowed to fight the case.
This week a court commissioner dismissed both the speeding ticket and the code violation. The speeding ticket bit the dust because the officer didn’t produce an expert witness to confirm the speed measuring equipment he used had been calibrated.
The commissioner also dismissed the code violation, noting that “there is no testimony [Google Glass] was turned on at the time.” The California law only applies if the video equipment is switched on, and the commissioner said there was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that this was the case.
The case isn’t a precedent ruling on Google Glass itself. Although the issue proved irrelevant in this case, the commissioner specifically said that Google Glass may meet the criteria for video equipment under the code. That means it could be an offense to use it if prosecutors were able to prove it was switched on during driving. How exactly you would prove that remains to be seen.
The woman was happy with her victory but is still arguing that it should be legal to use Google Glasses while driving. She made a point of using the record function while talking to reporters outside the court, sharing the video, and noting that it didn’t stop her from engaging in conversation and paying attention to others.