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. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  2. Equity

    Berlin Builds an Arsenal of Ideas to Stage a Housing Revolution

    The proposals might seem radical—from banning huge corporate landlords to freezing rents for five years—but polls show the public is ready for something dramatic.

  3. a map of the Mayan Train route in Mexico
    Environment

    Mexico’s ‘Mayan Train’ Is Bound for Controversy

    President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s signature rail project would link cities and tourist sites in the Yucatan with rural areas and rainforests.

  4. A photo of a design maquette for the Obama Presidential Center planned for Jackson Park and designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
    Design

    Why the Case Against the Obama Presidential Center Is So Important

    A judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by Chicago preservationists can proceed, dealing a blow to Barack Obama's plans to build his library in Jackson Park.

  5. A sanitation employee helps homeless people with their possessions in New Orleans in October 2017.
    Equity

    Because of Louisiana, the Minimum Wage in New Orleans Is a Poverty Wage

    Around the World Day of Social Justice, we should consider why cities pay poverty wages, and why 28 states can preempt local efforts to raise the minimum wage.