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Old 09-21-2012, 8:56 PM
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Maddog5150 Maddog5150 is offline
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Default Riding with ear phones??

Some say it's not safe, I cant hear anything at all when I'm riding anyways. When I first started riding, I had a Harley and never wore ear phones and one time, I had a firetruck up my tail wailing and I couldnt hear him. Luckily I saw him but it's just an example of not being able to hear squat
Anyways, safety arguments aside, what are the legalities of it? I've heard many stories of this, that and plenty of hear-say but I would like to know from you experts first.
I've heard (again hear-say and not credible) from someone who claimed they got a ticket for it and got out of it as it's legal to ride and wear actual ear plugs.
Information would be greatly appreciated
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Old 09-21-2012, 9:13 PM
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stphnman20 stphnman20 is offline
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I wear headphones while I ride but I don't blast the music loud. Also stay away from the earbud type headphones. They are like hearing protection and you can't hear nada.
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Old 09-21-2012, 9:16 PM
P5Ret P5Ret is offline
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My opinion only, same rules as drivers, can't have both ears covered or plugged as the case may be. However it may be difficult to enforce, as quite a few riders myself included have our ears covered by the helmet. You can also put speakers in the helmet, which to me is more comfortable than any ear buds I have found, for long rides.
I have seen someone attempt to fight a headphone tag with the you can be deaf and drive defense, it didn't work by the way.
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Old 09-21-2012, 9:33 PM
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BigDogatPlay BigDogatPlay is offline
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Hard to see under the helmet, yes, but if I see both cords running up under your helmet you're going to take a stop.

27400. A person operating a motor vehicle or bicycle may not wear a headset covering, or earplugs in, both ears.
That said, unless you're doing something else to attract my attention or raise my suspicion I might just as easily shine it on. But I see ever growing numbers of smart phone users with buds in both ears who aren't paying nearly the attention to driving that they should.
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Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. -- James Madison
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Old 09-21-2012, 9:38 PM
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I'm not LEO but if you do a search of the CVC you'll find the info below. I take that to mean you can't have headphones for music covering both ears but ear plugs used to keep noise to a level that won't hurt you is acceptable. I have custom molded earplugs that I wear when I ride. I have enough hearing damage from shooting.

V C Section 27400 Wearing of Headsets or Earplugs

Wearing of Headsets or Earplugs

27400. A person operating a motor vehicle or bicycle may not wear a headset covering, or earplugs in, both ears. This prohibition does not apply to any of the following:
(a) A person operating authorized emergency vehicles, as defined in Section 165.
(b) A person engaged in the operation of either special construction equipment or equipment for use in the maintenance of any highway.
(c) A person engaged in the operation of refuse collection equipment who is wearing a safety headset or safety earplugs.
(d) A person wearing personal hearing protectors in the form of earplugs or molds that are specifically designed to attenuate injurious noise levels. The plugs or molds shall be designed in a manner so as to not inhibit the wearer's ability to hear a siren or horn from an emergency vehicle or a horn from another motor vehicle.
(e) A person using a prosthetic device that aids the hard of hearing.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:03 PM
Choptop Choptop is offline
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one should be wearing hearing protection while riding, not something that blasts more noise into your ears.

that being said, there is a theory that you have only so much attention to be paid on what you are doing. Riding a motorcycle takes up most of that attention, there isnt room for listening to music while doing it.

plus when you wear some hearing protection, you CAN hear things like emergency vehicles.

I know thats not the legal question you asked... but it comes from lots of experience (motorcycle racer, land speed record holder, track instructor)

Last edited by Choptop; 09-21-2012 at 10:09 PM..
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:35 PM
repomanNWP repomanNWP is offline
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I guess I'll have to weigh in with different opinion than the majority. I do a lot of riding, mostly sportbikes, I like to ride long distances (200mi is short ride, saddlesore 1000's are fun - I've done 5 of those, and 9 day 3000+mi trips are my favorite)... so, I think hearing protection is essential, at bare minimum I use foam ear plugs. I prefer wearing good fitting ear buds (Like my Westone 1's), where I can play music, talk on the phone, intercom with my fellow riders, or use my HAM radio. I do not find it distracting at all. you shouldn't be riding 10/10ths on the street, and I don't fiddle with devices and other things. It takes practice and discipline to ride safely - with or without chatter/music in your ear.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:47 PM
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Plenty of non-leo replies in here, myself included, but I've been pulled over by CHP on my CBR and I had to tell him to wait a sec for me as I take my foam earplugs out (what I also wear when I go shooting) after I took off my full-face Shoei helmet. He made no fuss about it. I saw the CVC posted in here, so I guess it'll depend on the LEO that happens to pull you over.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:23 PM
NuGunner NuGunner is offline
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I've cited for it, but simply because the person was not paying attention to the emergency vehicle that was approaching them from behind. Most of time it's cause for a warning, unless I can attribute some sort of unsafe driving to it.
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