Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google appear at the keynote with the Google Glass to introduce the Google Class Explorer edition during Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, on June 27, 2012 in San Francisco. AFP PHOTO/Kimihiro Hoshino (Photo by Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/GettyImages)
One of the year's hottest gadgets is Google Glass, the glasses that can pretty much do everything a smartphone can. But are the glasses a dangerous distraction to drivers? According to one California police officer, the answer is yes.
Traffic laws vary from state to state, but some are more strict than others when it comes to distracted driving. Google Glass, for example, could be considered equivalent to watching a TV monitor or computer screen while driving, which is illegal in California.
Cecilia Abadie was pulled over for speeding in San Diego this week and was handed a ticket for it, but the officer also cited her for driving while using Google Glass. She posted a copy of her ticket online.
Under California law, there are only exceptions for GPS and mapping tools and screens that display camera feeds to help the driver navigate. A device can be allowed as long as it as a safety feature that limits its display while driving.
Google Glass fans are defending the technology, saying the information displayed is out of your direct view and not distracting, comparing it to checking speed and other information on your vehicle's dashboard.
Keep in mind you can adjust the device so the information is not at the center of the screen and is out of your line of sight.
Users on Google Plus weighed in when Cecilia asked for legal advice.
Matt Abdou said "That law is amazingly ambiguous. If this law is enforced for Glass then that means nobody can drive a vehicle with a phone, tablet, or GPS mounted in front of the driver as they can all be made to show video."
Cam Meadows wrote "I live in California. I have had similar questions about viewing your various monitored devices while driving. I noticed that our police officers drive with their laptops visible to the driver. If they are allowed to do it, everyone should be."
Mitchell Mehdy, a San Diego attorney known as 'Mr. Ticket', says he thinks the law is broad enough to say it violates the law. He says this is the first case he's heard of involving Google Glass.
Google Glass does warn its users about running into trouble with traffic laws, noting that most states have passed laws limiting the use of mobile devices.