back to article Accused Glasshole driver says specs weren't even turned on for traffic stop

A California woman who was stopped by police for driving while wearing Google Glass has pleaded not guilty to charges of speeding and distracted driving. Early Glass adopter Cecilia Abadie of Temecula, California was issued a traffic citation in October under a clause in the state's vehicle code that forbids operating a motor …

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"nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

"there is nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass while driving your vehicle."

There will be, though. The law will be amended to assume that anyone wearing Google glasses is actually using them. Or else everyone would use the same "Yes judge I was wearing them but they weren't turned on." Followed by "Well judge I only turned them on once I brought my vehicle to a complete halt."

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

The problem with the stupid reactive laws is that they will stop the technology dead in it's tracks.

The end of this technology would be augmented reality so the driver will only see signs relevant to him, low light enhanced roadside with a thermal overlay.

Bringing in these laws may kill off new technology that will make driving safer before it's even invented.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

But you would need special car-glasses, or you could never be sure that the light you saw from the glasses was actually road-augmentation and not My Little Pony.

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

How about getting the new technology to actually provide those benefits, rather than letting people do the Glasshole equivalent of texting while driving and potentially killing people while we wait for these future benefits you're talking about?

The same argument could be made to let any self driving cars on the road today, because they'll eventually be better at driving than people are. I'd prefer that before they open the floodgates to this that they make sure the cars can do at least as good a job of driving as an average human, thanks.

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Trollface

Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

How about making it illegal to be wearing Google Glasses because they're exactly the kind of technology only an asshat would wear?

Hmm... I guess that law would also ban iPhones and anything from Brookstone...

I'm liking this law more and more!

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

"I only turned them on once I brought my vehicle to a complete halt"

Out of interest, a 'complete halt' as opposed to what other kind of halt?

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

Following which, Google will offer as an option the logging of all usage of the glasses, to certified secure serv ers whose accounts are, like bank records, exceptions to hearsay evidence in law.

Next, Google will offer the glasses with an option to silently record video of travel while all output or playback is switched off. Thus, should a motorists be accused by vengeful police, they will be able to prove (by video record) that they were indeed travelling at less than 65 mph rather than 80 mph, as Ms Concidine is accused of doing but denies. It's worth bearing in mind that courts traditionally grant deference to the sworn statements of officers. Enough such recordings, and that will no longer be true.

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

"Out of interest, a 'complete halt' as opposed to what other kind of halt?"

The word "complete" as used therein does not add or alter semantical meaning, it serves to emphasize the point that the speaker wants to make. It's a very very commonly used device - perhaps so commonly used that it scarcely calls attention to itself - and if you look (and listen) carefully to others, you will meet with it very very often.

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Tis but an anomaly in the Law

Using it or not

Switched on or not

Wearing it is a crime against fashion and humanity

Wearing it unnerves others

Wearing it breaches privacy

Minimum 10 years jail time.

Or at least a confiscation order so that the judge can play with it.

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

Out of interest, a 'complete halt' as opposed to what other kind of halt?

Stop-start nudging forwards at walking pace or less in a motorway traffic jam? Seriously, that's one situation in which I defy UK law. If the motorway has been at an all-but-standstill for >10 minutes, I'll call ahead on my mobile to let folks know I'll be late. Which is illegal, because my car isn't parked. Also difficult, because all the other cars are also doing it, and overloading the local cell!

Not relevant to this thread, but I've also had it explained to me by a USA cop that a STOP sign means that one must bring one's vehicle to a completely stationary 0mph stop. Slowing down to less than walking pace and seeing clearly that there's no reason not to turn right (like a left in the UK) is illegal. Only reason I didn't get a ticket and fine was being a newly-arrived foreigner. The law is probably the same in the UK but here a STOP sign is used only on a junction with truly terrible visibility where you would be mad not to stop anyway. Otherwise it's just a "give way". In the USA just about every junction has a traffic light or a 4-way stop.

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

..."the law under which Abadie was cited forbids in-vehicle televisions and video screens mounted "at a point forward of the back of the driver's seat." It makes specific exceptions for information displays, GPS systems, mapping displays, and devices solely designed to assist in driving – such as rear-facing closed circuit camera displays – as long as these are installed in the vehicle.

Beyond that, however, the law forbids "any other similar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal that produces entertainment or business applications."

So under the letter of the law, it's as just as equally illegal to use a GPS system running on a smartphone on two counts: 1, the smartphone isn't designed solely to assist in driving and 2, it's also capable of displaying a TV signal etc. But I'm sure doing so isn't practically deemed illegal, so why this?

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

Yup. STOP means STOP - worldwide

As a cyclist that means "put your foot on the ground" - if you play that stupid game of wobbling and not quite stopping you can be ticketed (This was explained tto me by the friendly cop ticking off the friend I was riding with for doing that, whilst I copped a bollocking for riding no-hands.)

As an aside I often wonder if the USA's addiction to 4-way stops goes some way to explainng their ridiculously high urban fuel consumption levels.

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

> Yup. STOP means STOP - worldwide As a cyclist that means "put your foot on the ground" - if you play that stupid game of wobbling and not quite stopping you can be ticketed

Really? I'd like to know where he got that idea from because the only requirement in the Road Traffic Act is that the vehicle comes to a complete stop before proceeding (ie the wheels stop rotating). There is nothing that says a cyclist or motorcyclist has to put a foot down.

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

Superb! This flipped my Mr Logic trigger and you are correct!

+1 interwebs

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

"... complete stop..." HaHaHa, please stop it guys, I may have to go out and buy a copy of Viz (can you completely still do that?)

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

I'm of the opinion that anyone driving around with a pair on that is switched off needs to be fined just as much for being a sad poser as they would be if they were driving without due care and attention with a pair switched on!

Honestly, the defendant is either a lying butt-weasel or pretty pathetically in need of attention to be driving around with them switch off but still on her face.

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

A halt is any time the vehicle is not moving; a 'complete halt' is where the vehicle has been placed in neutral, handbrake on, feet off the pedals, etc.

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Re: Self driving cars

I'd prefer that before they open the floodgates to this that they make sure the cars can do at least as good a job of driving as an average human

I'd prefer they wait until the cars can do a much better job at driving than the average human. Most humans I encounter on the road can't drive for shit.

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Re: Self driving cars

Granted I passed my car test close to 30 years ago and I needed to stop and apply the handbrake at a stop sign. My class A is only 20 years old and I have to stop and foot down but not necessarily transfer to foot brake as at lights.

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Trollface

Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

> As an aside I often wonder if the USA's addiction to 4-way stops goes some way to explainng their ridiculously high urban fuel consumption levels.

Nah, that's because their cars are shit.

Actually, the 4-way (or all-way) junctions are a better alternative to the mini-roundabout as fairness is enforced by the 4-way rules, i.e. the first to arrive is the first to leave, with additional rulings for when vehicles arrive simultaneously. Busy mini-roundabouts have an alarming and annoying tendency to lock up with no-one quite sure who can go.

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@ Alan Brown Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

You are correct sir. I hate the 4 way stops. A lot of them can be easily replaced with roundabouts - my home town in Europe has switched almost all intersections from traffic lights to roundabouts, and now a trip across town takes 10 minutes instead of 25.

Here in Ontario Canada it's also stop all way fest. I know though of a couple of roundabouts, and some people are still stopping in front of them, driving me nuts (no pun intended).

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Re: Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

"Nah, that's because their cars are shit."

No, more like overloaded with safety and entertainment gadgets. And moronic regulations that emphasize less efficient fuels.

Ignore the fact many 'Mericans are addicted to big engines, high accelerations, and vehicles that are solid enough to run roadblocks.

"Proud to be a 'Merican, where at least I think I'm free"

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

Four-ways work atleast. Mini-roundabouts are accident generators. There's nothing like coming into one when the yahoo coming in the opposite direction decides to make a left the wrong way 'round - in the US going clockwise around the circle instead of counter-clockwise. Little aware that they are the cause, they scream about right of way, despite traveling the wrong way in the lane.

My own favorite traffic "calming" measure is the widened divider at a non-stop intersection, which causes traffic to swerve toward the Class II bicycle lane. I call these setups "bicyclist elimination zones." It offends every traffic engineer I've tried it on too!

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

California rolling stop?

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

Mini-roundabouts are accident generators. There's nothing like coming into one when the yahoo coming in the opposite direction decides to make a left the wrong way 'round

Have you got morons of an even higher level than the usual variety where you live? I've never seen that, and where I live in the US midwest they've been adding roundabouts here and there over the past decade. Only on those intersections not busy enough to warrant traffic lights, too busy for a two way stop, but where they don't want the traffic flow impediments of a four way stop. They published some accident figures recently, and they had fewer accidents than slightly busier four way stops did.

I think the key to the implementation here was that the first few places they added them were three way intersections, so there were fewer directions for traffic to enter, as well as including signs that make it clear how it works. I'm sure it is still confusing for people from out of town since they are still pretty rare in most places in the US, but it hasn't been a problem.

The signs look sort of like this: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/80ECE784-A6A9-4A26-B1CD-FEEA44BF4C44/0/LaneControlSign.jpg

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

...a complete stop before proceeding (ie the wheels stop rotating)

So skidding on slick roads is a complete stop?

It's not the rotation of the wheels; it's the motion of the vehicle. Zero motion is the rule.

The shorthand that the cyclist has to put a foot down is based on physics: balancing a bicycle without rolling forward or backward is practically impossible.

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

" Mini-roundabouts are accident generators."

No, they aren't. I can't remember ever seeing an accident at one in a nation where people know how to use them.

Four-way-stops by comparison are just slow.

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Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

So five downvotes to my post pointing out that a cyclist or motorcyclist doesn't have to put a foot down, but nobody has come up with anything to contradict that, apart from Steve Knox who asserts that "balancing a bicycle without rolling forward or backward is practically impossible" leading me to the conclusion that he doesn't ride a bicycle or motorcycle like myself and has never seen someone do (or done) exactly this.

To quote a document from the Insitute of Advanced Motorists:

"26. Misconception: At STOP lines the rider must place at least one foot onto

the road surface.

"There is no specific requirement for the rider to do so. The essential requirement is that a rider’s machine must come to a complete STOP."

I recommend that the downvoters take some Advanced Training (or they can just downvote me again to be petty...)

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Nym

Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.--NO!!

'I did puff in some smoke, but believe me--I never inhaled.'

Trust me.

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Re: @ Alan Brown "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.

> A lot of them can be easily replaced with roundabouts - my home town in Europe has switched almost all intersections from traffic lights to roundabouts, and now a trip across town takes 10 minutes instead of 25.

I would make a distinction between large roundabouts (the like of which we generally have in Europe) and the smaller mini roundabout. Roundabouts generally are generally much more efficient than an equivalent light controlled junction.

However, the mini roundabout in a lot of situations is a deathtrap and a killer to traffic flow, particularly at very busy junctions where there is equal traffic density on all the approaches. Because of diver uncertainty, the traffic nearly always stops dead and there is uncertainty as to who can proceed. The mini roundabout (unlike its larger cousins) have only a 1 car capacity, so any vehicle entering the junction is immediately in conflict with every other. There's often a bit of hand waving and false starts as the drivers try to arbitrate movement. Diver uncertainty and no official way to arbitrate between drivers is the most dangerous situation to get into on the roads. For this situation, the 4-way junctions are a better bet since there are at least some basic rules that handle the simple cases of a very busy junction.

Personally, I would rather not have any of these small junctions, but in a lot of cases, there is no option.

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Not guilty plea for 80 in a 65

I'm guessing the defense will be something along the lines of "it's southern California FFS. Kids' tricycles go over 65mph here."

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Re: Not guilty plea for 80 in a 65

Mitigating circumstances, if you're playing Galaxians at the time.

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Trollface

Re: Not guilty plea for 80 in a 65

A common problem when playing GTA while driving....

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Anonymous Coward

Can Google Glass match Jobs' rose colored glasses?

Its big test of the Google Glass reality distortion field.

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What will CA and the courts do when prescription Glass arrives?

Reportedly, Google is in talks to produce prescription Glass in or by 2014:

http://www.eweek.com/mobile/google-in-talks-to-make-google-glass-available-in-prescription-versions.html

As for the cited driver, if the police would have run a court order to the signal provider, and if the GPS information shows the device was either OFF or at least not deliving live, distracting footage, and if diagnostics on the device (assume the device was seized or if remote telemetry is available in the abscence of seizure) was not running locally-displayed content, then why the court case at all?

Besides going after drivers wearing Google Glass, why not crack down on drivers wearing earbuds in BOTH ears. I have since 1992 or so known that even then it was illegal to be driving and be wearing or having inserted TWO earbuds. It was in the CVC (California Vehicle Code) back then and I presume it still applies today. I've never driven with two earbuds in, and avoided doing so with one, just to avert issues. But, equally bad, considering the intent of the code, was drivers blasting music so loudly that it would be impossible for such a motorist to be aware of emergency sirens or other sounds of warning in the audio spectrum.

Nowadays, drivers are tooling around with the even-more-sound-damping/dampening earbuds, the rubbery, expanding types that are good enough to replace sleepers' ear plugs in some cases. Why not crack down on drivers wearing a SINGLE, sound-damping earbud?

Better yet, why not emergency-promulgate a law stating that police sirens activated within 500 feet of vehicles have an ability to temporarily block some features of such devices as Glass and mobile phones when the device is on and in a moving motor vehicle? It might require such drivers to PIN-activate their devices or airplane-mode them as legal safety to try to prove their devices are not involved in driving incidents, and to help reduce the risk of motorists having their devices seized. But, some card-carrying rights activitst as well as anti-rights forces would all have something to say against such technology, even if all it would do would be to scribe crawler/message into the view of the worn Glass devices.

Ordinary motorists operating their vehicles while wearing Glass can NEVER, EVER be trusted to be as skilled as fighter pilots, specially trained vehicle/aircraft handlers, and others. So, neigher Google nor other advocate can DARE sanely try to posit such an idea, no matter how well they think they've tuned up their interfaces.

Still, +1 for the motorist on her apparent proof that her device was turnd off. That apparent fact renders her Glass device no more distracting to her than cheap sunshades. Probably no worse than teaser earbuds (of the 1990s kind) with the audio jack clipped off and the buds incapable of delivering a legally-prosecutable distraction to a motorist or cyclist.

Edit: appended (but did not edit the above):

And, -1 for speeding! Speed, in many cases, especially when negligently used, KILLS, MAIMS, or DESTROYS! Speeding in any area -- schools zone, or desert, is costly. First responders still must respond even if she crashed or rolled over in a desert or dry/barren mountainside.

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Re: What will CA and the courts do when prescription Glass arrives?

So fighter pilots etc etc can wear a Glass by your argument? What about Police/Ambulance/Fire engine drivers who need up-to-date info from whatever device? Maybe we just need an extra section of the driving test to allow Glass and such things... otherwise, as per previous posters, you are going to cut off innovation and possible *improvements* to driving safety.

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Re: What will CA and the courts do when prescription Glass arrives?

Actually, I could see an endorsement test (Similar to a motorcycle, air brake, large vehicle, or commercial passenger endorsement) to allow one the legal right to drive with a cranial mounted HUD.

Personally, I see great promise in these devices. GPS overlay data, light amplification, vehicle information. The trick is to using it is TRAINING. And I'll bet that if you use a similar scheme to something like the "Halo" HUD, with this info in the peripheral view, many people will be able to integrate it safely and effectively.

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Re: What will CA and the courts do when prescription Glass arrives?

Can you not decipher the term "ordinary motorists"? Why did you leap that my example of fighter pilots meat to exclude specially-trained users or motorists when I allowed for such teained persons to be allowed a special exemption? As things are, MOST ordinary motorists can barely drive safely without commiting some actionable infraction of the vehicle code. Even plain optial wear takes rime adjusting to, and motorists newly adjusting to eyeglasses could statistically be found in incidents due to lack of adjustment to eyewear, especially when windows, pillars, and items on the dash and rear deck may be involved. I am not trying to be snarky or condescending. I myself earned 13 tickets n under 6 years though two of them were due to corrupt cops or CHP. Still, I managed to clean up my act and since 2000 have not had a single actionable offense levied upon me. None involved alchohol, substances, or racing others, nor reading maps, either.

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Why a glass then

If you don't keep your glass (powered) on, why use it in the first place?

Was that causing nausea? Let us know lady.

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Her defense will be "I didn't realise I was doing 80, I was too busy watching Youtube"

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Holmes

Throw the book at her.

How do you know that the glasses are off?

Seriously... she could have lied or turned them off when she was pulled over.

No excuse.

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Re: Throw the book at her.

Ok, you're going to prison Gumby.

What do you mean "what for"? How do we know you didn't do something illegal?

Prove you didn't, or we lock you up.

Gumby, that's probably the stupidest thing I've seen someone write for a while. Guilty until proven innocent just means everybody goes to prison.

If they want to convict her of this, they need to prove the Glass was active at the time - otherwise, it's just a pair of cheap sunglasses.

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Re: Throw the book at her.

Throw the book at him.

How do you know he didn't stick his dick in her?

Seriously... he could have just pulled it out when the cops turned up.

No excuse.

-----------------

Innocent unless proven guilty. Of course, if the law is so worded, it may be that just having them there is breaking the law, turned on or not, in which case ignorance is not a defence.

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Re: Throw the book at her.

Then they can also convict everyone with an operational satnav; that's a data/video display in front of the drivers seat, is it not?

And they can bang up all the car manufacturers for conspiracy to supply at the same time.

*faceplam* why do people suspend all logic and rational thought just because it's bloody Glass??!!

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Re: Throw the book at her.

"What do you mean "what for"? How do we know you didn't do something illegal?

Prove you didn't, or we lock you up."

Reasonable doubt is grounds to ticket her in my mind. Google Glass is useless when switched off. They're not even sunglasses. So there is ZERO reason to wear a pair that are switched off in her car. Ergo, it seems reasonable that they were switched on.

It's like getting pulled over with a balaclava, shotgun and a crowbar on your back seat. By letter of the law you haven't been proven to be planning burglary, but reasonable doubt will probably get you done for it, because the law works on the basis of common sense, and is not cast in stone in such cases.

Of course: With an expensive lawyer they'd be able to bullshit enough to get you off under reasonable doubt, but that's why rich people don't go to jail much.

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Re: Throw the book at her.

No, the law works on the basis that a criminal conviction must be evidenced _beyond reasonable doubt_. You are talking about suspicion: your fellow with a balaclava might be arrested for suspicion of intent to commit burglary, but unless they can prove that beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law then he gets away scot free.

Was he seen in the commission of a crime? Did he confess intent to commit a crime? Without that all they have is circumstantial evidence and suspicion, and frankly that doesn't amount to much.

With this lass, they suspect she had them turned on. Can they prove it? If they can prove beyond doubt she was distracted then that's one thing, but if there is ANY doubt at all, if she can demonstrate that the glasses were turned off or even demonstrate that the officers in question couldn't tell if they were turned on, then she wins. A criminal sentence would be overturned on appeal faster than you can say "unsafe conviction".

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Re: Throw the book at her.

@Richard 12

You missed something: Reasonable Suspicion. Gumby might have done something wrong (he probably has), but you can't just arrest him for 'something', you need to state what and give grounds for why you suspect he is guilty. Then you have to prove your case in court, and he'd win if all you're doing is saying 'well, he's guilty of something'. After all, this isn't the Victorian era!

In the case of this woman, she was wearing the device in question. It is now for the courts to decide if she has broken the law by wearing it while driving.

And from what I've read on said law: There's no requirement for the device to be in use. So the defence of 'it wasn't switched on' isn't going to do much good. Rather, she needs to challenge if the Glass is covered by the law.

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Re: balaclava, shotgun and a crowbar

Actually, even without the shotgun, you could still get done for carrying a weapon (the crowbar, we're not talking about weapons against fashion) around with you.

Many years ago, a guy I worked with got stopped speeding to the office where we worked. It was 2 in the morning, and the security systems had been tripped - he was the emergency contact. Just in case it was a real problem, he had a baseball bat with him on the front seat. The policeman who pulled him over suggested in future he arm himself with an over sized maglite because "we can't do you for carry one of those around".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: balaclava, shotgun and a crowbar

I can second that, hence why I have always owned a 6 D-Cell maglite, the copper I spoke to at the time said I wouldn't be collared with that, plus if I used it in a home defense situation I could talk my way out of it in court if I'd used the maglite to batter someone into submission scare them off.

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Re: balaclava, shotgun and a crowbar

"balaclava, shotgun and a crowbar"

Even without the shotgun, the police would call that going equipped.

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