Woman fights tickets for driving with Google Glass

Cecilia Abadie was wearing Glass when cited

LOS ANGELES - A Temecula woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to what is believed to be the first traffic citation alleging a motorist was using Google's computer-in-an-eyeglass known as Google Glass.

The device, which is expected to be widely available to the public in 2014, features a thumbnail-size transparent display above the right eye.

Cecilia Abadie was pulled over on suspicion of speeding in October. The California Highway Patrol officer saw she had Google Glass and tacked on a citation usually given to drivers who may be distracted by a video screen.

After the incident, Abadie posted the following on her public Google+ account:

"A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing a Google Glass while driving!
The exact line says: Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass).
Is #GoogleGlass ilegal while driving or is this cop wrong???
Any legal advice is appreciated!! This happened in California. Do you know any other #GlassExplorers that got a similar ticket anywhere in the US?"

Abadie, whose account stated that she works for San Diego-based Full Swing Golf, Inc., also posted a copy of the citation issued by the CHP officer.

On Tuesday in San Diego traffic court, Abadie pleaded not guilty to charges of speeding and driving with a monitor visible to the driver.

Abadie said she believes the California Vehicle Code needs to be revised.

"We have these old laws trying to be applied to new technology. When these laws were designed, the technology did not exist. I believe this technology might help solve the problem with cellphones in cars and be true hands-free device for cars," said Abadie.

She told 10News she is very comfortable wearing her Google Glass, adding, "I like it a lot. As you can see, I'm wearing it but it's not intrusive at all. It's not bothering our conversation, not limiting my sight but if I need it … I want to take a picture; I say, 'Glass, take a picture.' and boom, I got you."

Her lawyer says she will testify at a trial scheduled for January that the glasses were not on when Abadie was driving, but activated when she looked up at the officer.

Abadie claims when she was pulled over by the CHP officer the device was inactive and she shouldn't have been issued the second citation.

Defense attorney William Concidine told 10News, "She was not watching the Google Glass, although she did have it on her face. It only operates when turned on and only momentarily if you decide to keep it on that long. Our defense is she wasn't driving with it on, but it did come on after she was contacted by the officer."

The law states that the device must "be operating" to warrant a citation, but Abadie denies that.

Google Glass won't be widely available until 2014.

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