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Driving While Wearing Glass. The New Driving Offense?

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on November 01, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

On Tuesday, Google Glass Explorer Cecilia Abadie was pulled over for going over the 65 mph speed limit in San Diego. While the officer was writing up the ticket, he noticed Abadie was wearing Google Glass and added a second violation to her ticket for "using a video screen," reports The Washington Post.

She immediately posted the ticket on her Google+ profile and asked "Is #GoogleGlass ilegal [sic] while driving or is this cop wrong???"

Good question.

California Law

Under California V C Section 27602 Television, a person can't drive a car with a television monitor or video screen in front of them, with the exception of GPS and mapping displays. You can see the ticket for yourself on Abadie's Google+ profile and it reads "driving with monitor visible to driver (Google Glass)." A spokesperson for the San Diego bureau of the California Highway Patrol stated, "we wouldn't issue a ticket in jest," reports the Post.

Law in Other States

While California is using an existing law prohibiting the use of a monitor or screen, Delaware and West Virginia are the only two states to address this issue with both states proposing to ban Google Glass the way they do cell phones while driving, according to The Huffington Post.

Google itself suggest that user "Read up and follow the law," according to The Wall Street Journal. The Google Glass FAQ section reads:

Can I use Glass while driving or bicycling?

It depends on where you are and how you use it.

As you probably know, most states have passed laws limiting the use of mobile devices while driving any motor vehicle, and most states post those rules on their department of motor vehicles websites. Read up and follow the law! Above all, even when you're following the law, don't hurt yourself or others by failing to pay attention to the road. The same goes for bicycling: whether or not any laws limit your use of Glass, always be careful.


This is yet another example of the law needing to catch up to technology. While Google Glass can be used for many functions, one of them is navigation. Then there's the "heads-up display" angle to use Google Glass, as well as the fact that it could have been turned off, according to the International Business Times.

Google Glass, and wearable technology in general, will definitely continue to grow in popularity. We need to begin revisiting laws to make sure that they have intended consequences, rather than giant catch-all provisions.

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