Legal to ride with a headphones- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Legal to ride with a headphones

    I live in Florida and I know it is illegal to drive a car with headphones in (although I see it all the time). Is it legal to ride a bike with headphones? I like to listen while I ride. Not very loud. I can hear traffic clearly and can hear traffic approach from the behind.

  2. #2
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    See if Florida's bicycle and vehicle law is available on line. In many states, the law explicitly states that cyclists must adhere to vehicle and driver law except where it is specifically stated otherwise.

    Joggers use headphones or earbuds too, and given how quiet a Prius can be, it seems too dangerous to me. I have tinnitus and need all the hearing I have to help with overtaking vehicles. I've seen people reading books and newspapers, or eating both hands and presumably knee driving, all potentially lethal distractions. All illegal. None are something to emulate.

    You only have one life, and there is no such thing as being too safe.

  3. #3
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    It doesn't matter if it's legal or not, if you are riding among traffic you should not use them and your complete attention should be on your surroundings.

    Argue that however you want, but every intersection I cross I am looking in 4 different directions at once, listening for anything remote to resemble engine noise or other, add smell and feel senses to those scenarios also. Undivided attention at all times.

    Now if you are road riding among a group or on some deserted country road, that’s cool. But you mentioned riding among traffic, and I would advise against.

  4. #4
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    I second stu on riding in heavy traffic with phones... just don't do it...

    However for moderate traffic, country roads etc. I wear headphones, but make sure they are the kind that have little holes in the outside of the headphone to let in outside noises.... IPOD headphones have these. I had headphones in the past that actually picked up and transmitted external noise form tiny little microphones so you could hear the world around you along with your music (that or they were just SO well-desinged that the through-put holes SEEMED to be amplifying).

  5. #5
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    In NY the law specifically states that two ear phones are illegal, but one is ok. Just as if in a car, an ear bud for your phone is ok. Maybe not every time I commute, but most of the time, I use a wired, hands free ear bud to listen to tunes from my phone. Only problem is the phone can't go mono, so I miss some licks on the guitar or back up vocals.... I keep the volume low enough that if I am at or above 25mph or so, most of the music is drowned out by wind noise.

    I haven't looked, but I can only guess that someone makes a single ear bud for an mp3 player.....
    Anyone who rides a bike is a friend of mine.
    My favorite bike is whatever I am riding.
    My favorite trail is where ever I am.
    Bikes and equipment are replaceable, friends and trails are not.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lew s lugnut
    In NY the law specifically states that two ear phones are illegal, but one is ok. Just as if in a car, an ear bud for your phone is ok. Maybe not every time I commute, but most of the time, I use a wired, hands free ear bud to listen to tunes from my phone. Only problem is the phone can't go mono, so I miss some licks on the guitar or back up vocals.... I keep the volume low enough that if I am at or above 25mph or so, most of the music is drowned out by wind noise.

    I haven't looked, but I can only guess that someone makes a single ear bud for an mp3 player.....
    Anytime I ride, I do exactly what you do, put one ear bud in, and leave the other out. I just don't feel safe not being able to hear the world around me. I even ride like this on the trail, for fear that I won't hear someone coming down the trail in the wrong direction, hear a riding partner yell for help, or hear a gator coming through the brush . While commutnig I keep the volume even lower that I do on the trail. I actually have a friend runs her earbuds through the helmet straps, and cranks the volume high. She doesn't put either of them in her ears. She says the earbuds act as speakers, and she can hear the music and be aware of her surroundings.

  7. #7
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    I wear headphones on the MUT. That's it.

    I'd rather not have my hearing impaired in any way while riding on streets with cars. I'm weird like that.
    :wq

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