A Google Glass Explorer named Cecilia Abadie ran afoul of the California Highway Patrol last night, and came away with a ticket for distracted driving. The culprit? Her Google Glass, which the officer saw as equivalent to driving with a TV screen blocking her view. The consequences for Abadie are likely to be minor, but the incident raises lingering questions about the legal status of Glass on the road at a time when the device is moving ever closer to mainstream use.
The main item on the ticket is for speeding, so it seems likely Abadie wasn't pulled over specifically for wearing Glass, but it's a sign of how far many institutions still have to go before they're willing to accept everyday use. While proponents claim the device doesn't distract drivers, both Delaware and West Virginia have passed laws against using Glass and other wearables on the road. In Abidie's case, the relevant law may have been a state ordinance against viewing monitors installed in a driver's field of vision, although absent any court ruling, it's still unclear whether the law applies to Google Glass.