As technology advances, state vehicle codes must adjust or propose new laws to keep the roads safe. But with these changes comes confusion about what is legal and illegal while driving. For instance, in 2016, it became illegal to wear headphones or earplugs while driving or biking in the state of California. But what about airpods?
As technology companies like Apple continue to innovate and make wireless headphones, such as AirPods, the California Department of Transportation has to update accordingly. So can you wear airpods while driving? Let’s take a look!
According to California Vehicle Code (CVC) 27400, “a person operating a motor vehicle or bicycle may not wear a headset covering, earplugs in, or earphones covering resting on, or inserted in, both ears”. Therefore, it is illegal to wear airpods in both ears.
Here are some guidelines
- Use your car’s microphone and speakers to take calls. This eliminates the need to use headphones, earbuds or airpods while driving.
- If you absolutely need to use your airpods or headphones, only wear one side. That way you still can hear traffic, emergency vehicles, etc.
- Buy a holder for your phone. That way you can use your GPS or take hands-free calls while driving.
- Use the car stereo to listen to music.
Keep in mind that currently there is some ambiguity in whether or not an individual is allowed to wear a single headphone or not. As stated in CVC 27400, people are prohibited from wearing earphones in both ears. But just to be safe, it is best to deter from using headphones completely to successfully avoid a traffic citation and protect drivers’ lives.
When driving, it is essential to be able to hear. Perhaps a car is honking to prevent a potentially deadly accident, or an emergency vehicle is navigating its way through traffic. Regardless of the circumstances, the fact of the matter is that if a person is unable to hear those horns or sirens, they could cause serious harm. This is especially important to understand now that Apple’s newest version of AirPods are noise cancelling. With this feature, it guarantees the inability to hear others on the road.
When considering the majority of Californian drivers, it is understandable as to why AirPods are not permitted while they are driving. This law, however, does recognize the communities of people who may need to wear headsets or earplugs, such as individuals who use a hearing aid, work on construction, or operate emergency vehicles. CVC 27400 does NOT apply to those who are:
- Operating authorized emergency vehicles
- Engaged in the operation of either special construction equipment or equipment for use in the maintenance of any highway
- Engaged in the operation refuse collection equipment who are wearing a safety headset or safety earplugs
- Wearing personal hearing protectors in the form of earplugs that are intended to attenuate injurious noise levels, but allow individuals to hear emergency vehicles when necessary
- Using a prosthetic device to aid their hearing (i.e., individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing)
Potential Consequences of Wearing Airpods While Driving
People who wear AirPods or other earbuds while driving may face the ramifications. For this traffic infraction, the fine tends to be in the $200 range but can vary on a case-by-case basis. It is essential to either pay the ticket or contest it in court prior to its due date, as ignoring it could result in further legal action, such as getting a misdemeanor.
Another potential consequence of wearing AirPods while driving is getting points on your driving record. Such points can negatively interfere with insurance rates and accumulate over time. People who continue to gather points on their records are at risk for their license being suspended or taken away.
What if I Receive a Traffic Ticket?
If you happen to receive a traffic ticket for wearing AirPods or other headphones while driving, GetDismissed provides a trustworthy service to challenge tickets. GetDismissed offers opportunities to fight traffic citations without a court appearance through its Trial by Written Declaration. This process requires people to take a picture of their ticket, explain their circumstances, and send their case to court.
To learn more about our services, contact GetDismissed today.
What Types of Tickets Do We Help With?
GetDismissed produces results in fighting all kinds of tickets. Unfortunately, this list does not include exhibition of speed citations. Your best bet in fighting one of these infractions, is to contact an attorney. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf to try and reduce fines, or even to reduce the charges to a lesser infraction which could possibly qualify for traffic school.
We do however, contest infractions revolving around speeding, red lights, red light cameras, cell phones, signs (primarily stop signs), carpool violations, U-turns, out of lane violations, and commercial violations. If you receive a citation and have questions, contact us today.