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Police: Stop Wearing Earbuds While Driving

State police and transportation officials warn against wearing headphones while on the road, adding to the list of driving distractions.

In some states, drivers can be issued a ticket for talking on a cell phone behind the wheel. Texting and driving is now illegal in Massachusetts. State Police want to remind Massachusetts drivers that listening to headphones is illegal as well.

State Police say more drivers are using hands free technology to communicate while driving, and while wearing one earpiece is allowable under the law, wearing two is not.

“Some operators have begun to use their headsets to listen to music, audio books, and other media while driving,” state police said in a Tuesday advisory. “Frankly, there is no legitimate reason for an operator to be wearing both headphones while driving.”

Police say the use of earbud headphones while driving cuts off one of the “vital senses,” and could cause drivers to be unable to hear emergency sirens, car horns

“Some dangers while driving are not immediately identified by sight alone and your ability to hear may be your only warning to immediate danger,” the advisory said.

Wearing headphones over both ears while driving is a primary offense in Massachusetts, which means, once observed, a police officer can pull a driver over for the offense and issue a ticket.

Police are campaigning against the use of earbuds while driving by placing electronic signboards along highways and secondary roads throughout the state, calling the effort a “simple, efficient and cost-effective way to inform the public on this issue and hopefully effect a change in motorist usage of these devices.”

Dan iodice December 02, 2012 at 11:07 AM
That's bullshit! What next? We can't step on the gas?
Just a person! December 02, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Well, for as long as I have been driving, it was always illegal to have headphones on while driving. So your point is?
Judge Amy Gray December 02, 2012 at 03:13 PM
So if it is illegal to wear headphones on both ears is it also illegal to drive if you're deaf? And is it illegal to have the radio at full blast? What is the difference?
Paula Smith MacDonald December 03, 2012 at 02:53 PM
use common sense people.. if you are using your earbuds to talk on the phone, use only 1 - so you can hear any potential emergencies. and excessively loud music while driving should be banned.!
Kasey Dixon December 04, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Hopefully the earbud problem will solve itself as people update their cars. I think most newer cars have aux jacks, so people can use their car speakers instead.
Will B. Done December 08, 2012 at 04:51 AM
I think people who want to wear earbuds while driving should be allowed to do so. That way all of these idiots will die in car crashes and the world will have less idiots and the gene pool will be improved. Go ahead and wear those earbuds you idiot freaks!

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