In October of last year, Cecilia Abadie was pulled over by a San Diego officer for speeding and wearing a Google Glass while driving…………. Wait, what? What is Google Glass?
The Google Glass, which is slotted for release later this year, is a head-mounted computer display that is attached to the upper right corner of a specialized pair of glasses. The small square monitor is voice activated and designed to display text messages, e-mails, and will feature Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. At the time of her citation, Abadie was one of 30,000 people that were selected to be “explorers” for the new Google product.
Initial reports about Abadie’s citations quickly gained steam and soon became a national media story. The circumstances were unprecedented and Google was involved; what more could a salivating news reporter want? Over the past few months, debate has raged on about what should be done about these devices when it comes to driving. Well, on Thursday of last week, Commissioner John Blair made the first court decision concerning the potential problem. He dropped all charges against Ms. Abadie and cited that there was a lack of evidence to prove that the Google device was actually in use.
One thing is for sure, this recent decision will be the beginning of a firestorm of political debate. Will we or won’t we allow these devices? And to what extent? Of course, the tekkies have already come out in swarms trying to defend the device.
Google, on the other hand, has side stepped all controversy by being overly diplomatic. In a recent released statement, the company said, “Glass is built to connect you more with the world around you, not distract you from it. As we make clear in our help center, Explorers should always use Glass responsibility and put their safety and the safety of others first.” Not surprisingly, the company didn’t address whether or not the Google Glass is safe to drive with. Instead, they will lean on the courts to decide that.
Check out Good Morning America’s Report:
If history serves any indication, state courts will treat this new device in ways that are similar way to texting and driving. Currently, every state seems to have different interpretations and levels of enforcement when it comes to texting and driving. Unfortunately though, these laws often seem to do nothing except quiet complaints and public murmuring. Take a look at Florida, for example. Last year, Florida joined a growing number of states that were outlawing texting while driving. However, they have already had problems proving that drivers are actually texting. This is because of the inherent loop holes when it comes to “outside technology” and driving. Check out Florida’s official law concerning the matter:
“[Governor Rick Scott’s] bill strictly prohibits reading electronic messages while operating a motor vehicle. However, drivers may still view navigational devices, electronic maps, or safety alerts- such as those regarding weather- without fear of penalty.”
Reports have already come out about drivers side stepping potential tickets by claiming that they are covering up texting by claiming that they are using their map and checking the weather. In essence, the laws mean very little because there is nothing that can be done to prove otherwise. In the end, if states really want to crack down on this potentially dangerous problem, they are going to have to take a stricter stance on both the Google Glass and texting. Until then, be careful on the roads because people really won’t be paying attention.