Lenny Ignelzi/AP

But it's still unclear whether wearing the device is truly legal while driving.

Last October, San Diego resident Cecilia Abadie received the first known ticket for driving while wearing Google Glass, sparking a national debate about whether or how the device should be regulated for drivers.

After posting a scan of her ticket online, Abadie got plenty of encouragement to take the case to court. In December, she did, and on Thursday, she won. San Diego Commissioner John Blair dismissed the case due to a lack of evidence that Abadie's Google Glass device was turned on while she was driving.  

Abadie coming out of court on Thursday. (screenshot from a video clip from a NBC San Diego news report) 

Although Blair dismissed Abadie's case, he did say that he believes Google Glass falls under a California law that forbids the use of a video screen in front of a driver while he or she is driving.

Ultimately, the ruling means Google Glass owners in California can still take their chances and officers can still hand out Google Glass tickets at their discretion. If similar cases are taken to court, the tricky part will still be determining whether a driver's Glass device is turned on and how much of a distraction it is.

According to NBC San Diego, Abadie contended in court that she wears her Glass all the time but keeps it off while driving. The officer who issued the ticket, however, testified that the Glass device covered half of Abadie's right eye, blocking her peripheral vision.

Technology blog Gigaom has argued that the legal uncertainty surrounding Glass could hamper its potential to actually improve driver safety, for example, with an app that prevents a driver from falling asleep at the wheel.

In several U.S. states, some clarity could be coming soon. Delaware, West Virginia, and New Jersey have all drafted laws that would ban Google Glass while driving. 

Top image: Abadie puts on her Google Glass outside of traffic court in December (AP

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  2. A map of Minneapolis from the late 19th century.
    Maps

    When Minneapolis Segregated

    In the early 1900s, racial housing covenants in the Minnesota city blocked home sales to minorities, establishing patterns of inequality that persist today.

  3. A map of population density in Tokyo, circa 1926.
    Maps

    How to Detect the Distortions of Maps

    All maps have biases. A new online exhibit explores the history of map distortions, from intentional propaganda to basic data literacy.

  4. A Seoul Metro employee, second left, monitors passengers, to ensure face masks are worn, on a platform inside a subway station in Seoul, South Korea.
    Transportation

    How to Safely Travel on Mass Transit During Coronavirus

    To stay protected from Covid-19 on buses, trains and planes, experts say to focus more on distance from fellow passengers than air ventilation or surfaces.

  5. photo: an open-plan office
    Life

    Even the Pandemic Can’t Kill the Open-Plan Office

    Even before coronavirus, many workers hated the open-plan office. Now that shared work spaces are a public health risk, employers are rethinking office design.

×