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Cycling with earphones made illegal in California

Cycling with earphones made illegal in California

Earphone ban is among a raft of changes to transportation law, including those aimed at pedicabs and e-bikes Cycling with earphones is now illegal in California – even if there’s no music playing in them.

The new state law, which was introduced on January 1 and also applies to drivers, outlaws the wearing of earphones, with fines for non-compliance as much as $160.

It has been illegal in the state to wear headphones or earplugs while cycling or driving for several years. However, the new law specifies earphones, making it unlawful to wear a “headset covering, earplugs in, or earphones covering, resting on, or inserted in, both ears, while operating a motor vehicle or a bicycle”.

Technically it is still legal to wear an earphone in one ear, while those operating construction equipment, or emergency vehicles are exempt, as are hearing aid users.

A similar scheme was proposed for the UK by one disgruntled Lord early last year who had seen other cyclists riding with earphones on his daily commute to Westminster and feared a risk to their safety. However, campaigners at the time contested the effectiveness of such a law, citing a lack of evidence on the risks of earphones and […]

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