LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California woman cited for wearing Internet-connected eyeglasses while driving plans to contest the citation.
Cecilia Abadie was pulled over for speeding Tuesday evening in San Diego, when a California Highway Patrol officer noticed she was wearing Google Glass and tacked on a citation usually given to drivers who may be distracted by a video or TV screen.
The lightweight eyeglasses, which are not yet widely available to the public, feature a hidden computer and a thumbnail-size transparent display screen above the right eye. Users can scan maps for directions — as well as receive web search results, read email and engage in video chats — without reaching for a smartphone.
Abadie, a software developer, said in an interview that she was not using her Google Glass when she was pulled over for allegedly going about 80 mph in a 65 mph zone on the drive home to Temecula after visiting a friend.
"The Glass was on, but I wasn't actively using it" to conserve the battery, she said.
Abadie expressed surprise that wearing the glasses while driving would be illegal and said she's "pretty sure" she will fight the ticket. First, she said, she needs to seek legal counsel. In the flurry of online commentary her traffic stop has generated, several people saying they are attorneys offered their services.
"The law is not clear, the laws are very outdated," Abadie said, suggesting that navigating with the device could be less distracting than with a GPS unit or phone.
"Maybe Glass is more a solution to the cellphone problem than a problem," she said.
What do you think about Celcelia Abadie receiving a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving?
It's unclear whether a citation for Google Glass has been issued before. The CHP said it is not sure whether an officer within its own ranks has written one, and an agency spokesman pointed out hundreds of law enforcement agencies in California alone can write traffic tickets.
Legislators in at least two states, Delaware and West Virginia, have introduced bills that would specifically ban driving with Google Glass. Authorities in the United Kingdom are mulling a similar ban.
About 10,000 units have been distributed so far in the United States to "pioneers," and this week Google announced another 30,000 would be available for $1,500 apiece. Abadie said she got hers in May and has become an "evangelist" for the technology.
A spokesman for Google did not reply to a request for comment. On its website, Google says this about using the headgear while driving: "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."
This is a story update. The previous story is below.
SAN DIEGO (CNS/CBS 8) - In a possible high-tech first, a Temecula woman helping Google test its prototype eyeglass-style wearable computer system received a traffic ticket in San Diego for sporting the equipment while driving on Interstate 15.
Cecilia Abadie told CBS News 8 that she was pulled over near Aero Drive for going 80 mph in a 65 zone, and thought she was only going to get a ticket for speeding. But when the CHP officer saw her wearing her Google Glass device, he wasn't happy.
"He was very annoyed and not having a very nice attitude," Abadie said. "And he kept asking me, 'Why, why would you wear a device like that when you are driving?'"
The officer issued the citation, which Abadie posted online to her Google+ account, saying she was in violation of state Vehicle Code 2760.
"I said but it's not illegal, right? And then he said it is illegal. I was very shocked. I didn't expect that answer. I had never heard of that before."
The law cited states that it is illegal to "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."
A CHP spokesman said he knew of no other case in which anyone in the state was cited for driving while using Google Glass. Abadie is one of 10,000 "Google Explorers" as part of a program testing the new technology, which is not currently available to the public.
After posting the picture of her ticket, Abadie asked her social network, "Is #GoogleGlass illegal while driving or is this cop wrong??? Any legal advice is appreciated!! ... Do you know any other #GlassExplorers that got a similar ticket anywhere in the U.S.?"
Abadie told CBS News 8 that the officer who ticketed her insisted that the Google Glass device is illegal because the screen was blocking part of her right eye.
But Abadie says she wasn't operating the Google Glass while behind the wheel, the screen was turned off, and she believes the law is murky on technology that hasn't even hit the market yet.
"The device was on but the screen was off and I wasn't actually using it," she said.
"It's not like I am rebelling and saying I don't deserve this ticket. It's not about that it's about that the laws need to be clear and I am very confused right now."
In a question-and-answer section on its website for the technology, Google notes that "most states have passed laws limiting the use of mobile devices while driving any motor vehicle, and most states post those rules on their department of motor vehicles websites."
"Read up and follow the law!" the statement continues. "Above all, even when you're following the law, don't hurt yourself or others by failing to pay attention to the road."
Abadie says she doesn't plan to drive while wearing her Google Glass for the time being.