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Updated: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 12:23:19 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

Google Glass-wearing driver fights ticket in court



Cecilia Abadie was pulled over on suspicion of speeding in October in San Diego. The officer saw she was wearing Google Glass and tacked on a citation usually given to drivers who may be distracted by a video or TV screen. Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

Cecilia Abadie was pulled over on suspicion of speeding in October in San Diego. The officer saw she was wearing Google Glass and tacked on a citation usually given to drivers who may be distracted by a video or TV screen. Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

A U.S. woman goes to court Thursday to fight what appears to be the first citation for wearing Google Glass, the computer-embedded glasses, while driving.

The case in San Diego could help shape future laws on wearable technology as it goes mainstream.

Software developer Cecilia Abadie is among some 30,000 people called "explorers" who have been selected to try out the device before the technology becomes widely available this year.

The device features a thumbnail-size transparent display above the right eye. The lightweight frames are equipped with a hidden camera and tiny display that responds to voice commands. The technology can be used to do things such as check email or get driving directions.

Abadie was pulled over in October on suspicion of speeding. The California Highway Patrol officer saw she was wearing Google Glass and added a citation usually given to people driving while a video or TV screen is on in the front of their vehicle.

Wears device up to 12 hours a day

Abadie has pleaded not guilty to both charges. She said she will feel like her rights have been taken away if the judge rules in favour of the officer.

"It's a big responsibility for me and also for the judge who is going to interpret a very old law compared with how fast technology is changing," said Abadie, who wears Google Glass up to 12 hours a day.

Her attorney William Concidine said the device was not activated when she was driving.

The CHP declined comment. At the time of the citation, the agency said anything which takes a driver's attention from the road is dangerous.

Legislators in at least three states — Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia — have introduced bills that would ban driving with Google Glass.

Google's website contains an advisory for users: "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."

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