On February 13, 2o13, I wrote a post discussing why wearing Google Glass and driving should be illegal. Citing a study showing that almost 20% of all car accidents involve distracted driving, I concluded that watching a tiny screen in your eyewear while driving a car would is extremely dangerous.
Well now a California woman is dealing with this exact issue. Cecilia Abadie was pulled over for speeding by a California Highway Patrol Officer and, when he saw that she was wearing a pair of Google Glasses, she was issued a second ticket for distracted driving. The ticket states “Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass).”
Google says that “Most states have passed laws limiting these of mobile devices while driving any motor vehicle … Read up and follow the law!” Despite this warning to its “explorers”, Google Glass can be used for GPS navigation and looking up addresses, activities drivers may carelessly attempt while driving.
In my opinion, under current New York law, using Google Glass while driving would not be illegal. The two statutes that govern distracted driving in New York are Vehicle and Traffic Law 1225-c and 1225-d. Section 1225-c makes it illegal to drive while using a cell phone without a hands-free device. Section 1225-d restricts drivers from using an electronic device that he or she is “holding”. Neither makes it illegal to drive while using Google Glass in the opinion of this NY traffic lawyer.
The definition of “use” in Section 1225-d should be expanded to include electronic devices that are worn or attached to a person. Such an amendment would make it illegal to wear or use Google Glass while operating motor vehicles.