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  1. #1
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    Ever been busted for headphones ?

    I was out riding during the xmas break during some mild weather and was stopped by my friendly local city police.
    I had an earbud in my right ear and nothing in my left, on a quite city side street.

    I am not sure about the highway traffic act ( Ontario, Canada ) in my region but this cop assured me that I was breaking the law and told me he would let me off with a warning since I looked like I knew what I was doing - spinning on a high end road bike !

    I am not sure if he stopped me to get a look at the bike of what !!

    I tried to check on the web to see if I could find any information in my area but was unsuccessfull.

    Have any of you had a similar experience and if so how was it handled ?

    Cheers, Alex.

  2. #2
    Oh God, He's back! 1oldRoadie's Avatar
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    I have never been busted about headphones, and I have used them while riding, when I felt it was safe.


    BUT!!

    All the luxury cars advertise how you can not hear outside sounds when driving.....and It is not against the law to use these glass scattering sound systems in cars...nor is against the law to walk or rollerblade with headphones or a boombox..

    SO, of course you are polite and curtis to the police but, I'll be danged if I would pay for such a ticket.
    I can't ride and Frown!

  3. #3
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    It is is ironic that I can drive in my vehicle with the stereo so loud that I can't even here my engine whine but you can't wear headphones on a bike. Bu the law here is you cannot where head phones period. Of course unless it is a ear piece for your cell. I ride with one in my right ear and leave the left open so I can hear traffic. I don't use them on my commute but do on many pleasure rides. Hint run the cord under your coat in the back and if you wear a helmet it covers most of it so they really can't see it.
    Matthew 6

  4. #4
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    I would put money on this thread bringing out the "You're being a fool to yourself and a danger to society if you wear headphones while riding" brigade. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

  5. #5
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Legal or not, I would not want to impede my hearing in any way while cycling, walking/jogging, or motoring.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  6. #6
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    The only thing worse than hearing a huge truck rapidly apporaching from behind is not hearing it until it's too late.

  7. #7
    Mercrudgeon Bikedud's Avatar
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    Headphones are like helmets. What ever floats your boat.
    But FWIW.

    Charles Parker Dosten - sixteen and the only other serious cyclist in the rural town where I lived in 1991. He decided to ride his bike to summer camp. It was only 35 miles and he wanted his bike while he was there. He never made it, hit from behind by a tractor trailer. He had his headphones on, it was still playing his favorite tape. It might not have mattered, who knows?

    It is illegal in Georgia to operate any vehicle (including bicycles)with hearing impaired by audio headphones.

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  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bikedud
    It is illegal in Georgia to operate any vehicle (including bicycles)with hearing impaired by audio headphones.
    This seems to be the key to this argument. Ultra-loud stereos are legally OK, but headphones are not. Hey don't ask me, I didn't make the laws.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  9. #9
    Kev
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    Actualy you can get a ticket for a ultra loud stereo.. I believe the law states atleast in CA if the police can hear it from 10ft away from you're card it is against the law. Years ago one of my friends got a ticket for his stereo being to loud.

  10. #10
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    I use ear buds all the time on my little pocket radio. I've never had any trouble with the police, and I can still hear approaching cars with the radio on low.
    "I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm." As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2. Shakespeare.
    "Deep down, I'm pretty superficial." Ava Gardner.

  11. #11
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    There was a discussion in the media here in NY about 1 year ago, concerning the law banning hand-held cell phones while driving. In New York, you may have an earpiece inserted while driving, provided that it's only in 1 ear (as in a hands-free device). Of course, it may be different in the province of Ontario...
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the input.

    I never did get a ticket and have seen my local laws on this subject - there is no mention of it or loud stereos in the road laws.

    So why did that cop stop me ? May be it was just HIS personal safety requirements - I will never know.

    For the rocord, I do not wear both earbuds or have the tunes blasting - it runs down my batteries.

    Alex.

  13. #13
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    I actually got a ticket for wearing headphones while driving.

    My car stereo had been stolen. I was trying to get to a doctor's appointment. I plugged my over-ear phones into my AM portable so I could hear the traffic reports. I was actually driving with the window open in 30 degree weather so that my hearing wouldn't be impaired.

    Irony upon irony. Had I closed the window so that the cop couldn't see the headphones I wouldn't have been stopped. My effort to be responsible was what got me nicked.

    Neither the judge nor the cop were impressed with any of this.

    RichC

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jeepbikerun's Avatar
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    I often wonder what the sound of the vehicle that is going to hit you vs. the sound of the vehicle that is going to pass is... Just a thought.
    "Those convinced against their will,
    are of the same opinion still."- unk

  15. #15
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    Passing vs Run Over ? The same !

    I was BRUSHED by a big rig trailer frame ( between the cab and the back wheels ) last summer and forced to ride into the gravel shoulder and ditch.

    I was able to bring my self to a stop unhurt, but was shook-up and a bit pissed.

    Close calls don't count - do they ?

    Alex.

  16. #16
    riding a Pinarello Prince orguasch's Avatar
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    Why is there a law regarding this???????????
    "Racso", the well oiled machine;)

  17. #17
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    Most new cars are so well insulated from road noise that the cabin is virtually a sound proof booth, hardly any sound makes it into the car. Turn on the stereo at a low volume, so talking is still possible and even emergency service vehicles are almost silent until they are right on top of you.

    I never wear headphone other than on trains and at home but I do not see the problem considering a car stereo blocks out the same amount of ambient noise as do headphones.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  18. #18
    Junior Member
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    Here's what I recieved from my local Government :

    Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2003 10:34:03 -0500 From: Harbottle, Sharon (MTO) <Sharon.Harbottle@mto.gov.on.ca>
    To: 'alex1400@excite.com' <alex1400@excite.com> Subject: RE: WWW Form Submission

    Alex: I have been asked to respond to your enquiry regarding stereo headphones when riding a bicycle. The Highway Traffic Act governs bicycles when being operated on the highway. There is no reference to headphone use or any potential restrictions in this Act. I hope this information is of assistance. Please let me know if there is anything further you require. Thank you Sharon Harbottle Senior Policy Advisor

    -----Original Message----- From: alex1400@excite.com [mailto:alex1400@excite.com] Sent: January 6, 2003 11:11 AM To: Antoine.Haroun@mto.gov.on.ca Subject: WWW Form Submission Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by Alex (alex1400@excite.com) on Monday, January 06, 2003 at 11:10:51 origin: Internet, ORSAR comments:

    Could you please tell me if it against the highway act to ride a bicycle with stereo headphones in Ontario ? I could not find any information on this on your web site. Can you tell me what the fine is ? I was also wondering if I would get a ticket for only using only one earpiece as I know it is much safer ? Thanks.

    No problem for me in the future if I get stoped, now I know
    more than that cop !

    Alex.

  19. #19
    Are we having fun yet? Prosody's Avatar
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    Originally posted by 50mileman
    Close calls don't count - do they ?

    Alex.
    Only in horse shoes and hand grenades.

    In my 20s I used to ride with headphones. I've decided I'm mortal now. Actually, part of the appeal of cycling is the sounds, and wearing headphones would obscure them. I've never toured. I bet headphones on tour would help pass the time.
    You're east of East St. Louis
    And the wind is making speeches.

  20. #20
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    I agree about the sensor aspects of outdoor cycling, peeling thru that wooded trail with the leaves down in the fall, hearing the trees groan in the wind ... Its all good !

    I am on this headphone kick because my commute is 25 miles one
    way (hence the 50mileman) on very boring secondary farm country roads - miles of flat, corn ridden scenery.

    I only see about a dozen vehicles on that stretch for the 1:25 it takes me to get to work so I thought I might give it a try for a while since Santa brought me an mp3 player for xmas.

    I have also started running with them on with no problems thus far - half volume and I can still here cars passing from the sidewalk.

  21. #21
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    What we need is a set of headphones/walkman that have a microphone on them so we can here the outside noise at the same time.
    Sick BubbleGum

  22. #22
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Gojohnnygo.
    What we need is a set of headphones/walkman that have a microphone on them so we can here the outside noise at the same time.
    Depending on how you adjust the volume control on the headphones, you still can hear outside noise at the same time. Having said that, I generally choose not to ride with headphones anyway. I get plenty of time to listen to music at home. When I ride, I like to hear the sounds of the outside world.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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