California, despite being the hub of Silicon Valley and hosts companies like Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Apple and many more, doesn’t have tolerance for using tech toys while driving.
One may think Google Glass may be exempted due to the nature of the device – it doesn’t need any touch, you just have to talk to it.
Robert Scoble wrote a long post on Google+ in support of MotoX which was always listening, citing the Californian law. He wrote, “The “OK Google Now” always-on speech features ARE dramatically better than on any other phone. They are a LIFESAVER in the car (and can potentially save you getting hell from the cops, in NYC it is four points on your record if you get caught touching a phone, here in California it is also illegal to touch your phone and, if caught, it will run you about $250 for first offense). While driving I just say “OK Google Now, call Maryam Scoble” and it works and works quite well.”
Google Glass is not a phone and you don’t have to even look at it to touch it, you just tap it and speak to it. But Californian cops are going to give hard time to Glass wearers.
+Cecila Abadie a Glass Explorer was awarded a ticket by a California Cop for driving wearing Google Glass. Previously we have seen some bars ban Glass for breach of privacy of other customers.
Cecilia was handed a ticket which said, “Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass)”. She has posted her story on Google+ and has asked the community to help her fight this in court.
The rule that is listed on California Department of Motor Vehicles, states: “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen, or any other similar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal that produces entertainment or business applications, is operating and is located in the motor vehicle at a point forward of the back of the driver’s seat, or is operating and the monitor, screen, or display is visible to the driver while driving the motor vehicle.”
However, there is exception to the rule for: (1) A vehicle information display. (2) A global positioning display. (3) A mapping display. (4) A visual display used to enhance or supplement the driver’s view forward, behind, or to the sides of a motor vehicle for the purpose of maneuvering the vehicle.
The rule seems to be ambiguous and does not accurately ban anyone from wearing a Google Glass while driving. Read the complete rule here.
It will be interesting to see if Cecila Abadie wins this case in the court or Google Glass will indeed face ban while driving.
Google Glass Explorers community has voiced their opinion against this act and are now in serious discussion with Cecilia to help her out of this. They are even asking Google to intervene in the case so that Google Glass doesn’t face a permanent ban in future while driving.