A Californian woman found herself the subject of litigation and national attention after having been caught and handed over ticket for driving whilst using Google’s Glass, but despite not being punished by court, the law remains ambiguous as to whether drivers can wear the search giant’s face computer. 42-year-old Cecilia Abadie shared the news of her now-revoked ticket via social media, but while she has been let off by judge for driving 85mph in her Toyota Prius while wearing Glass, it remains to be seen whether the act of using Glass while driving is actually against the law.
When mobile phones really rose to prominence during the nineties, there was a time when using your device whilst driving wasn’t considered illegal. Indeed, in some nations, it still isn’t. But that period of uncertainty thereafter, where road safety experts and governing bodies assessed the safety of using a device while driving, seems to be the situation we face once again with Google’s technology.
Glass offers a wealth of information and functionality, including such things as navigation, and this, of course, can be invaluable to a driver. As Abadie noted, Glass didn’t activate until she looked up at the police officer, and with no way of telling whether it was powered up while she was driving, the traffic official had insufficient evidence for any kind of prosecution to take place.
But while the case has been thrown out and Abadie has been acquitted on a charge that could have seen her face a fine of up to $300, there’s still a gray area where driving-while-Glassing is concerned. The mere fact that one could quite easily be tweeting or posting photos online while wearing Glass suggests that it could be outlawed completely, but with a number of safety features already in place, it will be interesting to see how this one pans out.
Drivers are prohibited from viewing any kind of video display or monitor used for business apps or entertainment purposes, and as such, these mustn’t be anywhere within a car that a driver might see them and be distracted.
The million dollar question, which is yet to be answered, though, is whether Google Glass falls under this umbrella.
What is your opinion on the whole situation?
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