It was only a matter of time before someone driving with Google Glass got pulled over. But it's what the police officer included on the ticket that makes for such an interesting case study.
On Tuesday night, self-proclaimed Google Glass pioneer Cecilia Abadie was pulled over while driving in San Diego. The California Highway Patrol officer ticketed her for speeding, but included another offense on the violation: distracted driving.
In an image of the ticket, which Abadie shared on Google+, Google Glass is written (in parentheses) in what appears to be a description of the secondary violation.
Along with the photo, Abadie explained:
A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving! The exact line says: Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass). Is #GoogleGlass ilegal [sic] while driving or is this cop wrong???
It's a good question, and one that's already been brought up in several state legislatures following the dissemination of Google's hands-free device. Lawmakers in Delaware and West Virginia have already introduced proposals that liken Google Glass to cell phones; the aim is to ban motorists from wearing Google Glass while driving.
It appears that the cop who pulled over Abadie considers Glass to be a violation of the California law prohibiting drivers from operating a vehicle with a television broadcast or video signal in view. However, the law does not apply to certain equipment, such as GPS or vehicle displays.
So if Abadie had been using Google Navigation, for example, would the cop still have ticketed her? It may be time for the courts to decide.
Abadie was not immediately available to comment.