So I'm no lawyer, but I've read a police report or 3,000. And looking at this, nobody was stopped for wearing Google Glass while driving. That's an important point I'm seeing folks overlook. The driver was cited for having a monitor visible while driving after being stopped for what appears to be speeding. (The blurrycam strikes when you least expect it. Ugh.)

There's a pretty big semantic difference there, and that also takes care of my first question — would wearing Glass be a primary enforcement (ie stoppable) offense in this jurisdiction?

And according to the statute folks in the follow-up comments dug up (http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d12/vc27602.htm), I'd say the citation looks warranted.

You could argue otherwise, sure. And someone probably should, I think.

But at this point, with that statute being what it is, I'd probably argue that Glass doesn't (yet) fall into the first four exemptions ("vehicle information display," "global positioning display," "mapping display" or "A visual display used to enhance or supplement the driver's view forward, behind, or to the sides of a motor vehicle for the purpose of maneuvering the vehicle." 

Mainly, that's because folks are trying to squeeze Glass into definitions of standard in-vehicle devices. Info screens built into the car. A traditional GPS unit. Maps fit into both of those. Supplementing the driver's view pretty clearly infers backup (or side, I suppose?) cameras, displayed on a monitor in the car.

Frankly, Glass is ahead of the statutes here, so that's going to cause a little pain for some folks. I haven't used it while driving yet. I just don't know whether I think it's safe for that. And when it comes to folks driving on the same roads as me and my kids, I tend to lean toward the conservative side of things. Put down the phones, folks. Seriously. Maybe Glass will help with that. Maybe HUDs are the answer. I don't know yet. I'm excited to find out.

In the meantime ... Get a ticket and don't think it's fair? Argue to a judge. Work with local legislators. (I imagine Google will at some point.) That's how this stuff works. And how it gets changed.

It's going to be extremely interesting to watch over the next decade.
 
A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving!
The exact line says: Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass).
Is #GoogleGlass  ilegal while driving or is this cop wrong???
Any legal advice is appreciated!! This happened in California. Do you know any other #GlassExplorers  that got a similar ticket anywhere in the US?
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 According to US law : A person shall not 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 while driving the motor vehicle.
 
It is also illegal to wear headphones while driving too. Not all states used to have laws against tv/monitors in front area, been illegal here in Missouri for decades. Also, what about vehicles with built in monitors now in front? What's the difference? 
Chad F
 
I see so many people wearing headphones while driving. What's the point of that? 
 
+michael a The difference is noted in that statute. 5(a-b)

(A) The equipment has an interlock device that, when the motor vehicle is driven, disables the equipment for all uses except as a visual display as described in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive.

(B) The equipment is designed, operated, and configured in a manner that prevents the driver of the motor vehicle from viewing the television broadcast or video signal while operating the vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner.

"Safe and reasonable" is certainly open to interpretation. 
 
Somebody with a sensible and well thought out response to a topic everyone else is just running with blindly? Incredible. 
Eric T
 
+Chad F I see people driving with both Apple ear buds in all the time. Hands free I guess. Maybe it's ok if only one bud is in but suddenly illegal if both are in? Silly laws are silly. I also see people watching slingbox on their phone in a windshield dock while driving. 
 
Point is....if your FULL attention is not on the task at hand "operating a 4000lb machine at high speeds" then you need not be on the road and behind the wheel. this also goes for drivers who feel they need to look at the passenger when talking to them. 
 
The fact he quotes glass as a contributing factor would make it be thrown out of court in the uk
 
+Charles Helton so if anything takes my eyes off the road , it means I shouldn't be driving at all....sound logic.

I'm the type of driver that never trusts the other guy to be doing the right thing, so I tend to always think they're gonna make a mistake. Helps me avoid accidents. 
 
+Jasen Minus Totally missed the point didn't you. Part of the Task at Hand "driving" is to be constantly aware of all that is going on around you. if you are playing with a phone or watching TV or talking animatedly with your passengers then you are not doing the Task at Hand "driving". Might want to rethink your "sound logic".
 
How am I supposed to check my mirrors if I can't take my eyes off the road? Ever. Am I allowed to blink? 
 
+Charles Helton no I didn't. I told you what works for me. I drive in the northeast where we are stated to have the worst drivers. I've traveled cross country to Ohio before and driven in NY, Jersey, and live in MA. I know bad drivers. I'm not even arguing your statement. I just think the wording is very poor regardless. Being aware could be making sure my kids aren't obstructing my view or trying to do things. Shit happens and you can't control it all. 
 
You break the law every single time you drive. You likely do not realize it. Repeated tiny infractions and almost everything is covered.

The blinking yellow caution: Did you slow down enough and how much is enough? Getting on the highway too slowly? Too quickly yet not exceeding the speed limits? Braking too quickly. Accelerating too quickly. Coffee. Food. I could go on all morning...there is always something that can justify an officer in stopping you and even ticketing you. There is always a law that covers your traffic situation. There is a choice made every time. The officer did not have to include that. As I said elsewhere, he was being an ass. 
 
Cops drive with theirs open all the time. It doesn't fit any of the above either. ...I also see them talking and texting while they
drive. They also use their radar while driving should that be allowed? Lol just sayin'....
 
You are soon to be someone's prison bitch (I hope they are gentle!) - LOL!
 
+Jasen Minus So your kids are not buckled in? you let them bounce around the car? And yes I know things happen but if you are paying attention to the Task at Hand then you can control most of it. I too drive in one of the worst cities in the states (washington D.C.) and i can tell you that most of the accidents happen by people who are not concentrating on the task at hand. Anything that takes your attention from the task at hand "driving" be it unbuckled kids, talking on the cell phone, playing with your gps or just talking with your passengers and you are a problem/accident waiting to happen. 
 
+John Krueger Do you report them? you should. they have to obey any laws just like a regular driver. the badge does not put them above the law. 
 
Glass can't be more distracting than a sat nav. Are they illegal in california? 
 
First, in terms of offenses for which an officer can stop your vehicle, don't think of it in terms of pretextual stops versus stops justified by more severe offenses. An officer may pull you over if there is probable cause that any sort of offense has been committed regardless of severity (driving over the centerline, obscured license plate, etc.). If this person drove by the officer and the officer saw them wearing Glass, that could be enough in itself to justify the stop. An offense is an offense.

Second, in terms of exceptions set out in the statute, it's going to be up to the judge to find that Glass fits within an exception. It comes down to how the judge will interpret the statute based upon its plain meaning. Precedent may also demonstrate devices with functionality similar to Glass have been found to be within an exception in the past. Terms like "mapping display" are deliberately broad to cover a range of devices that fit that description. Does Glass display a map or navigation view? If so, that could be enough to trigger the exception. This isn't my jurisdiction, but I thought I'd give it a shot.
 
+Charles Helton Actually, it puts them "above" a lot of laws. For example they don't have to wear seatbelts as it is argued it could prevent their quick escape form the vehicle under fire. 
 
+Cory Simpson  - NY also allows officers of the law to freely use cell phones without the need to work them hands-free - and thankfully I'm protected from escaping a vehicle under fire by my seatbelt requirement... were I ever in that situation! (GRIN)
 
What annoys me more than all of this is that people still somehow manage to take blurry photos. HOW?! It's not rocket science :/
 
so phone mounts where the phone is visible to the driver are illegal in CA?
 
+Chris Burns I think folks are still trying to expand the scope of the statute from what it actually says with letters and words. :)
 
The law also only exempts GPS displays when they're INSTALLED in the vehicle. You could argue that a smartphone in a car dock is "installed", but there's no way that the Google Glass on your head counts as installed in the vehicle. 
 
+Chad F one of my biggest gripes. I know in California its illegal to have both in. I have a friend who does it cause it sounds better then his car stereo (and he is an ex stereo installer).
But you rarely hear of those people pulled over.

I agree with +Phil Nickinson that Google glass is ahead of the law here. A few years back we were installing navigation units I peoples cars and they would get pulled over for distracted driving, before there was a law against monitors in the drivers view.
I don't agree with the put the phones down, stop texting.... Because: about 15 years ago a girl flipped her car while changing radio stations. They wanted to ban stereos from cars.

Yes, anything that distracts you while driving is dangerous. But you as the driver have to know these limits.
Am I capable of having a conversation with someone in the car, while driving?
Is this conversation too much to think about while driving?
I know some Labbies, rocket scientist, who pull into a parking lot with the family in the car on Sunday morning, just to realize they pulled up at their office and not at the restaurant they were going to for breakfast.

I am not saying there shouldn't be a law against it. Maybe drivers license classification. We put you in a simulator, have you tested for dealing with texting and driving then you get a sticker on your license.

Speaking of it....
How dangerous is it for young drivers to learn to drive on public roads. Maybe the learning to drive and the drivers test should be moved to a simulator.
Maybe all driving should be moved to a simulator.

 
If we move the speed limit down to just 15 miles per hour well reduce vehicular deaths by 97%.
If we set a maximum gross weight of vehicles to 1500 lbs we could further reduce these numbers.

Just saying. Not all good intentions are good things. Driving carries some risk.
Google glass allows one to navigate without taking eyes off the road. It allows a text to be responded too,or a call to be made too. Sure the later "can wait" but maybe the driver would fall asleep from lack of interaction and pure boredom. Especially driving at a slow ass 55miles per hour max.

BTW in California, if you get on a freeway doing 55, your a hazard. I have a friend who moved here from North Carolina. He had a fit with how fast people drove and no blinkers and on and on. Most trafic here does 80 mph. Cars who merge without looking, get on the freeway at 50~55 or for gods sake, drive in the fast lane at 55, because that's the speed limit force others to change lanes at a rapid rate to avoid them and create more problems.
A)if your not passing then you don't belong in a passing lane. All lanes to the left of the far right lane are "passing lanes". Now pay attention next time you drive to how many cars are breaking the law.
Are you? Do you drive in the fast lane because its smoother? Or because its faster? Or because changing lanes is dangerous, so you move over when you get on the freeway, then stay in the fast lane till you need to get off?
Me, I drive in the slow lane. I pass people all day in the slow lane. The slow lane is "the fast lane".

My friend (headphone guy) argues that the law should be like Europe. No passing on the right side.
If people followed the law that says if your not passing move to the right, then we would have no need for an additional law.
All that would do is cause us, who want to pass, to ride your ass more and honk if you don't move over.
He, BTW, is one of the park in the fast lane, because he doesn't want you put out the effort to concern him self with staying to the right. Too much work. 
 
Driving while wearing Glass is not likely any more difficult than driving during periods of the day when the sun is right in your eyes, and even sunglasses and the visor does little to help shield the sun. Or when it is directly behind you shining right in the rear view mirror.

Or maybe people will soon be banned from driving while wearing sunglasses or eyeglasses. They are in your direct line of sight correct?

Lasik eye surgery for everyone! And heaven forbid you have lost the use of an eye in the past and have to wear an eyepatch.

Very slippery slope, that will have to be addressed soon by people (hopefully those with at least a hint of common sense) who make those decisions.
 
I can feel a HUGE underlying rage in all these comments (my own included)
 
+Kevin Harvell sun glasses with ear prices more the 0.5 inch tall are illegal in California. Which means LOKs and the BBGs my girlfriend has are not legal while driving.

 
+michael a the vehicles with built-in oem monitors have a lock on DVD playback while moving.
Other activities that you are able to conduct on the touch screen while in motion are similar to those that you'd be able to on traditional head units. 
 
+William Martin your eyes should never leave the road as the mirrors, when positioned properly, will always be displaying some portion of the road...
O_o

 
Yeah.. Adjusting your radio, entering a destination or driving a car are all things that are to dangerous to do while the car is in motion. 
 
My wing mirrors display a portion of the road behind them but it isn't a very useful portion. Google glass doesn't require you to ever take your eyes off the road in front of you. 
 
I'm really struggling with the black and white that a lot of people are assigning to this situation.  Driving is a fairly sensory-demanding task if done right, but I don't believe it requires 100% attention 100% of the time to be done with an acceptable degree of safety.  

Many people drive safely while having conversations, changing radio stations and drinking coffee, as a couple of examples.  A probably smaller (though maybe only marginally) subset of the driving population can drive safely while talking on the phone or messing with a GPS nav device.  A still smaller (maybe) group can probably operate safely while texting.  

I haven't seen or used Google Glass personally, but I would imagine that in some circumstances and/or with some uses, it would be no less distracting or dangerous than a GPS nav device or a touch-screen radio installed in a car.  Maybe even less so, in that it may not require an "eyes off the road" look at something.  

It does present the potential for presenting info that may be "too" distracting to too large a subset of the driving population, however.  As do smart phones.  Displaying visual entertainment material (TV, movies, youtube etc.) or games, which would require more attention both visual and mental, is likely to be too distracting to a far too large subset of drivers.  

We can argue that it is the driver's responsibility to make appropriate choices about when and how to use devices while driving to maintain operation in a safe manner.  But I fear too many drivers make poor choices.  It's my suspicion that many (most?) laws regarding devices that may distract a driver have been promulgated in the wake of a fatality accident - in which a driver used poor judgement in choosing when to use such a device.  These laws have to balance a lot of competing factors, but do have to draw the line somewhere.  Seems that at least in the case of the law cited above, devices that display entertainment media are verboten forward of the back of the drivers' seat - to me that might be a pretty reasonable line.

I've seen too many close calls (some with me as potential victim) which were at least on the surface caused by distracted driving.  

At least right now, I'm going to lump Glass in with phones and TVs due to their unrestricted capability to display entertainment content.  If they could be locked out to GPS / navigational HUD only over 5mph based on GPS speed tracking, then I'd be willing to reconsider.
 
+Joe Avery That means there are likely numerous sunglasses she is not supposed to wear.

It is so wild just how different laws are in various states. 
 
My car has a back up camera that by definition had to be displayed when I'm going backward to be useful. What about that? That same head unit had built-in navigation which functions while I am driving. It's more distracting than a Glass projected image would be.
 
I think what people are getting at though Phil is that glass is likely much less distracting (potentially anyway) than any of the devices already covered by exemptions. I understand that any form of distraction is illegal in some states (sat nav etc.) but in the states that do allow specific devices to be within the field of view of the driver, surely glass, which can display that information right in front of you so you are barely looking away from the road directly in front, is less of a distraction than anything that makes you move your eyes significantly away from your normal line of vision.

It's an interesting case, because I'd predict that in a few years you could see cops being equipped with google glass or similar items to give them live info or directions during car chases or even just while driving quickly to the scene of a crime.
 
+William Martin Doesn't matter. What's written in that statute is what matters.

That's my point, and that's what needs to be addressed. :)
 
True, but the argument could be made that glass falls under the categories below.

(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to the following equipment when installed in a vehicle:

(1) A vehicle information display.

(2) A global positioning display.

(3) A mapping display.

(4) A visual display used to enhance or supplement the driver's view forward, behind, or to the sides of a motor vehicle for the purpose of maneuvering the vehicle.


The speeding portion will be harder to argue with, but I'd say there's a fair argument that glass would fall under the bolded exemptions above. Of course the "installed in a vehicle" bit could cause problems too. 
 
+William Martin You could, yes. But I would then argue that just because a device can do those things doesn't mean it is those things. Form more important than function, in that case.
 
Agreed, I don't think it's clear cut either way. 
 
Unless she had some sort of map/ GPS program up on her Glass when she got the ticket or he could honestly tell that the device screen was off at that moment then she deserves to be cited for it. It's not fair to law enforcement that they get made the bad guys for our idiocy. She knows the law and that its up for interpretation. If she doesn't like it fight the ticket. But the officer is right in this situation and unless you come up with a way to make it so that Glass ONLY shows you the map when on while driving it's a distraction, PERIOD. Phone's should have to be locked in driving mode when the GPS can tell you're moving at a certain speed. This is coming from someone who is an habitual user of their phone while driving.
 
+William Martin Very true... however let's be honest, you know she wasn't looking at the map, because if she was she would've showed it to the officer at the time, and more than likely he wouldn't have written her a ticket or he would've told her to fight that part of the ticket and he would vouch for her in court like most cops do.
 
She said it wasn't switched on I think, if she was doing anything other than looking at maps or a music play list then she deserves a ticket 
 
This is why I like to read +Phil Nickinson blog posts (and +Android Central and most of +Mobile Nations in general).  They tend to be pretty well though out, and not overly biased to one side or the other, like a lot of the lower quality tech blogs are.  Keep up the good work.
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