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Traffic Court Clears Driver Cited for Using Google Glass

Court says it's not illegal to wear a turned-off device on your head.

In October, a woman pulled over for speeding got an extra citation for wearing Google Glass. Today, she was cleared on both counts in a San Diego traffic court.

Cecilia Abadie is a product manager and member of Google’s “Glass Explorer” program. Abadie said she was wearing the device with the screen turned off while she was driving, but her Glass screen activated when she looked up at the police officer outside her window (that is indeed how Glass is designed, so wearers can access it without pressing a button).

The California Highway Patrol officer who pulled Abadie over cited her for the equivalent of watching television while driving. But the court today found no proof that the device was in operation while she was in motion.

The incident inspired some of Abadie’s fellow Google Glass beta testers to post pictures taken with their own Glass while driving, using the hashtag #freececilia.

However, the traffic court didn’t actually cover whether it’s legally kosher to use Google Glass while driving, since the Abadie decision hinged on the notion that the screen was off.

While it might not be legal in California to watch TV on your Glass while driving, is it legal to take a picture? Use turn-by-turn navigation? Read tweets? That’s unclear.

This article originally appeared on

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