Cecilia Abadie was rolling along a California highway Tuesday night when she was pulled over for speeding. She said she was going 70-something in a 65-mph zone, no big deal. But then the police officer saw what was on Abadie’s face: Google Glass.
Immediately, the officer added a second violation to Abadie’s speeding ticket, for using a video screen.
“A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving!” she wrote on her Google Plus page. “Is #GoogleGlass ilegal while driving or is this cop wrong???”
Turns out the law is real. Under California rules, video screens are prohibited anywhere ahead of the front seats unless they’re displaying GPS information, a map or information about the car itself.
The ticket is also real. A spokesman for the California Highway Patrol would not discuss Abadie’s specific case but said that the officer identified on the citation works in the San Diego bureau and that “we wouldn’t issue a ticket in jest.”
On her Google+ page, Abadie posted an image of the ticket, including the initial of the officer’s first name and the last name.
Reached by phone, Abadie said she would like to get to the bottom of the matter.
“I’m deeply confused,” she said. “I would like to clarify this for me and for the community of Glass Explorers,” a name referring to testers of the high-tech eyewear.
Dozens of people weighed in on Abadie’s Google+ page. Some expressed disbelief. Google Glass enthusiasts encouraged her to challenge the ticket. Some suggested that if she could prove she had been using turn-by-turn navigation or had the device switched off, Abadie might be able to escape paying the penalty. But that would be up to the traffic court.
“I had some lawyers offer to help me,” Abadie said. “I think I’m going to do that because right now I have to drive to L.A., and I’m not sure if I should wear my Google Glass.”
“I think it’s very important to get to the bottom of this, whether it’s legal or not,” she said.