Google Glass woman beats ticket, but device may still be illegal for drivers

A California woman who received a ticket for wearing Google(s goog) Glass while driving finally got her day in court — and she won. According to NBC, a traffic official threw out the case due to a lack of evidence that the electronic eyewear was active while she was driving.

This ends an affair that drew national attention in October when 42-year-old Cecilia Abadie used social media to share news of her ticket, which she received after an officer pulled her over for driving 85 miles an hour in her Prius. According to Abadie, the Google Glass on her face only activated when she looked up at the officer.

Abadie may have beat the ticket, which came with a fine of up to $300, but the ruling does little to clear up whether or not it is legal to use the device while driving.

The issue in the case was whether Google Glass should be classified as a screen or monitor under a California law that forbids drivers from viewing 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 […]

Other states have similar laws that restrict the use of screens and monitors, including, in some states, the Mercedes-Benz Splitview system that shows navigation info to the driver but entertainment to the passenger.

The legal uncertainty over Google Glass is problematic because the technology could actually improve driver safety by, for instance, offering a system to prevent a driver from falling asleep at the wheel.