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Listening to mp3 players while driving


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#1 nathanworrall

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 06:09 PM

My car radio doesnt work so I often drive around listening to my ipod. Not through any fancy speaker thing, just the regular in-ear headphones that come with an ipod. Just out of interest am I actually commiting any offence? Or is this completely legal? If it is an offence how would an officer go about dealing with it?

Thanks

#2 ninetyone

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 08:32 PM

Not an offence per se.

If you use one earphone, you deserve a telling off.
If you use two earphones, you deserve to get done for driving without due care and attention.

Simple option: don't. Buy one of those cassettes that you plug into your iPod, instead, or just fix your radio :prone:

#3 JS

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 10:27 PM

Not an offence per se.

If you use one earphone, you deserve a telling off.
If you use two earphones, you deserve to get done for driving without due care and attention.

Don't understand ... you say "not an offence per se " and then follow it up with should "get done for driving without due care and attention".

The s3 offence is about the standard of driving - i.e the driving has to be below that expected of a careful and competent driver, I can't see how listening to headphones could fall into this without other circumstances. An example of this, might be that a driver didn't notice someone due to not hearing - but just wearing the headphones would not be sufficient in my opinion.

You might be able to stretch not in proper control of a vehicle ... but again as best practice, I'd be looking for evidence of the driving being affected.

There is no doubt it is a bad idea to drive with headphones in, and I don't condone it in any way; but you would struggle, in my opinion, to prosecute without further evidence of the driving being affected.

James

#4 Ewokop

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 10:41 PM

Whats strange is that i was just thinking about this a few days ago when a car didnt see the blue or hear the two's and was listening to something with earphones!

Nice informative reply JS!

Edited by NEK, 10 June 2009 - 10:41 PM.


#5 maka

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 10:53 PM

what about on a Motorbike one ear two ears?
im thinking, you get these bluetooth helmets for audio now and GPS etc etc.

#6 Ewokop

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 11:28 PM

^^ What about them, as JS has said, there is no offence, so on a bike there still would be no offence. Only if driving fell below the standard of a carefull and competent driver and if was linked to wearing said earphones....

#7 SBG

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:25 AM

As you can drive if you are deaf then I cannot see how wearing headphones, using any form of transport, can even be considered as an offence.

#8 brand b

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 07:50 AM

As you can drive if you are deaf then I cannot see how wearing headphones, using any form of transport, can even be considered as an offence.

You beat me to it. Unless you could show that failing to hear something when the driver would otherwise have had opportunity to have heard it impacted on either an accident or their driving manner. Can't see a reasonable offence coming out of the OP scenario.
The driver could have an earpiece in both ears and still be able to hear things so it would be a jolly difficult one to prove
For a drivers not hearing the two tones - know what you mean but the principle is to assume they dont see/hear the b&ts and if they do, then its a bonus

#9 Ewokop

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 12:01 PM

Didnt we establish that ^ :( lol

#10 ninetyone

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 10:37 PM

It's clear what I meant - there isn't a law saying 'You must not use headphones', but rather the manner in which they are used could give rise to driving w/o due care. Maybe I didn't want to risk there being any doubt :D

#11 Top Cat

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 04:03 AM

Not an offence per se.

If you use one earphone, you deserve a telling off.
If you use two earphones, you deserve to get done for driving without due care and attention.

Simple option: don't. Buy one of those cassettes that you plug into your iPod, instead, or just fix your radio :D


Not really. Arguably earphones on low can allow you to hear better than a car radio on megablast...

..and what about deaf people? Are they inherantly driving without due care..?

#12 Lior

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 07:03 AM

As you can drive if you are deaf then I cannot see how wearing headphones, using any form of transport, can even be considered as an offence.

Deafness ain't a distraction. Slight difference.

#13 jobo

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 12:15 PM

no but tinitus is, is that a potenial driving offence as well,

#14 SkinSte

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 01:21 PM

It's clear what I meant - there isn't a law saying 'You must not use headphones', but rather the manner in which they are used could give rise to driving w/o due care. Maybe I didn't want to risk there being any doubt :(


But anything could give rise to you DWODC. It's only when you are actually DWODC that the offence occurs. If you were to turn up to custody with someone after nicking them for this, would you say to the Custody Sgt that the reason for arrest is because they were wearning headphones whilst driving, or because they had blocked you for 3 miles not allowing you to overtake whilst you were on a shout? (Likely? No, but it highlights the point).

#15 nathanworrall

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 06:54 PM

Thanks for the replies. Thats a good point about deaf people being able to drive. I don't think music is really much of a distraction, its defiantly not as bad as talking to a passenger or to someone via handsfree. Good point aswell that there is no way anyone would know if it was a mp3 player or just a handsfree headset.

#16 MM84

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 07:28 PM

I've noticed this more and more recently although I'm not sure if the drivers were wearing one or two headphones. I personally think it's very dangerous.

#17 ninetyone

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 10:13 PM

At least someone agrees :(

#18 brand b

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 07:44 AM

There would need to be good evidence to include the headphones, because the wdc would be the only thing to be seen by witnesses and it would be left to driver to explain their driving. Are they any more of a distratcion than a gaggle of yakking screaming kids in the back!
Can't see how one could prosecute simply for them being used though.

#19 Monotone

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 10:01 AM

Got to agree with the prevailing replies in this thread- in and of itself, wearing ear/headphones is not an offence. But in certain circumstances it may contribute to a DWODC offence. But there again, even if your hearing was completely distracted, if you are paying enough attention to the road you should see the blues approaching - this is a much better tell of who is driving without paying enough attention. With or without a siren, a driver who is using good driving observation skills should see an emergency vehicle on blues and know that they need to get out of the way.
Vehicles do use audible warning devices - be it sirens or the bog standard horn, but if conditions are poor enough or there is a specific hazard that results in your visual hazard perception being severely diminished then you might have to ask if you are driving with due care and attention by blocking out your hearing.

Quite apart from anything else, I'd say 80% of the officers in this forum who drive police cars do so with an earpiece in. An offence?

#20 ninetyone

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 04:38 PM

Highly trained officers, who are listening to speech only, and are required to so (and who are statistically less likely to encounter an emergency vehicle on a shout :()

#21 nathanworrall

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 09:27 PM

ninetyone I'm sure you will be happy to hear I bought a FM transmitter for my ipod fo it works through my radio. So no more headphones :(

For arguments sake I do agree that its a stupid thing to do. Although deaf people are more then capable of driving perfectly, they are not deaf by choice. So why choose to take one of your senses away.
However its not an offence :(

#22 MattM

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 09:48 PM

driver who is using good driving observation skills should see an emergency vehicle on blues and know that they need to get out of the way.



Am I not mistaken in thinking you could not be prosecuted if you failed to move out the way for an emergency vehicle. There's nothing saying you have too, it's just the done thing on the roads?

#23 ninetyone

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 09:59 PM

Obstruction of the relevant service, under Emergency Workers (Obstruction) Act 2005 :D
http://www.statutela...xtDocId=2926404

#24 Jimski

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 10:02 PM

Just to throw a spanner in the works here but, how about when your favourite tune pops on the radio and you crank it right up, surely this is on a par with using earphones? and therefore would impair any ability to hear any of the mentioned signals, b&ts? So therefore leading to the non-implication of using earphones?

I listen to my music fairly loudly, but also tend see an emergency vehicle before i hear it etc etc as thats the way i was taught to drive.


As mentioned, its all about the standard of driving you are displaying, i.e fiddling around with a sat nav whilst wibbling round a 2 lane carriageway is gonna be worth a telling off, same with changing a cd etc


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#25 MattM

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 10:22 PM

Obstruction of the relevant service, under Emergency Workers (Obstruction) Act 2005 :D
http://www.statutela...xtDocId=2926404


No mention of the police though. Only F & R, Ambulance, Coastguard, RNLI.




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