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Driving with Headphones, Legal?

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:59 am
by RealMarkP
I'm aware that driving with a bluetooth headset for my phone is legal, but what about headphones for music?

Re: Driving with Headphones, Legal?

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:42 am
by Stanton
While there is no law that specifically states you can't wear headphones, I believe it's illegal. One could argue that the act falls under careless driving (without due care and attention) since it would make it harder to hear sirens, horns, etc. It's also somewhat covered by the new cell phone legislation. Section 78.1(2) prohibits entertainment devices and states: "No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held electronic entertainment device or other prescribed device the primary use of which is unrelated to the safe operation of the motor vehicle". So if your headphones were plugged into any type of portable music player, I believe you'd be in violation of this section.

Re: Driving with Headphones, Legal?

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:23 am
by RealMarkP
So it's not really the fact that I cannot hear, it's more along the lines of using a device that might get me into trouble. Because deaf people are allowed to drive which makes the argument of not being able to hear sirens a moot case. If the headphones were plugged into my car stereo or if your stereo is fancy enough, utilized bluetooth (my brother's car does this), would that still fall under the hands-free law?

Basically, if I was to be pulled over for this by a police officer, they could 'interpret' any number of laws to slam me with.

Re: Driving with Headphones, Legal?

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:28 pm
by Stanton
RealMarkP wrote:Because deaf people are allowed to drive which makes the argument of not being able to hear sirens a moot case.
I'd disagree. I don't think the Courts would be alright with reduced situational awareness if it were due to personal entertainment versus a disability. Rulings relating to excessive noise have often cited the fact it makes it difficult for the driver and/or other motorists to hear sounds/warnings that they need to regardless of the fact that some drivers are deaf. Also consider that the HTA does grant exemptions for persons with medical conditions from certain laws.

Re: Driving with Headphones, Legal?

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:19 pm
by NightFlight
Stanton wrote:While there is no law that specifically states you can't wear headphones, I believe it's illegal. One could argue that the act falls under careless driving (without due care and attention) since it would make it harder to hear sirens, horns, etc. It's also somewhat covered by the new cell phone legislation. Section 78.1(2) prohibits entertainment devices and states: "No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held electronic entertainment device or other prescribed device the primary use of which is unrelated to the safe operation of the motor vehicle". So if your headphones were plugged into any type of portable music player, I believe you'd be in violation of this section.
Couldn't I argue that under 78.1(3) if my iPod were in the 'hold' postion, the buttons are disabled and therefore for all intents and purposes the device is now in hands-free mode? If not, I certainly could modify the onboard firmware to have the screen display "Hands-Free Mode" while in this state. This should further ensure the exemption since the device obviously has been designed with road safety in mind!

Exhibit A. See judge? Its hands free! :D

Re: Driving with Headphones, Legal?

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:07 am
by Reflections
Here is the monkey wrench.......... connect your "Hands-free stereo headphones to your phone".... listen to music, but be able to recieve calls......... and when pulled over you tell the officer, "but it's attached to my phone for "hands-free"..... now you be the officer........ continue the discussion........

Re: Driving with Headphones, Legal?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:30 am
by AndruLuka
If your country's local law rules allow then it's legal other wise it's illegal. Some county law allow it and some not allow it. So first know your local rule and then after driving with headphones.

Re: Driving with Headphones, Legal?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:49 am
by tdottopcop
AndruLuka wrote:If your country's local law rules allow then it's legal other wise it's illegal. Some county law allow it and some not allow it. So first know your local rule and then after driving with headphones.
Hi AndruLuka.

If you haven't noticed, this board is in regards to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, a piece of legislation that exists in Ontario, Canada. 'County law', 'local rule' or 'state law' (as you've mentioned in some of your other posts) are completely irrelevant to anything discussed on this forum.

Also, generally, when you don't know the answer to something, you don't generally reply. We try to give a definitive answer or provide example of legislation that provides answers to peoples' questions, not 'check the law and see if it's legal'.

Good luck amigo.

Re: Driving with Headphones, Legal?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:14 pm
by fredfred
tdottopcop wrote:
Hi AndruLuka.

If you haven't noticed, this board is in regards to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, a piece of legislation that exists in Ontario, Canada. 'County law', 'local rule' or 'state law' (as you've mentioned in some of your other posts) are completely irrelevant to anything discussed on this forum.
These kind of posts are generally done to increase the position of the poster's Google Search. The search algorithms take into account how many links point back to their website so they just make a neutral comment and include a link back to the site they are promoting. If the moderator just strips the link from their posting, it removes any value for them. Probably posted by someone who, as the sign on the pole at the intersection says, is "making $100,000 working from home".

Re: Driving with Headphones, Legal?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:24 pm
by Decatur
Just start deleting the entire post and ban the account name. :)

Re: Driving with Headphones, Legal?

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:38 pm
by Radar Identified
fredfred wrote:These kind of posts are generally done to increase the position of the poster's Google Search. The search algorithms take into account how many links point back to their website so they just make a neutral comment and include a link back to the site they are promoting. If the moderator just strips the link from their posting, it removes any value for them. Probably posted by someone who, as the sign on the pole at the intersection says, is "making $100,000 working from home".
I get the impression we won't have to worry about him anymore.