DMV Reminds Motorists of New 2016 LawsNot so fast. Here is the new law, compared to the old law:
Earbuds or Headsets (SB 491, Transportation Committee): This law, among other things, makes 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. This prohibition does not apply to persons operating authorized emergency vehicles, construction equipment and refuse or waste equipment while wearing a headset or safety earplugs.
27400. A person operating a motor vehicle or bicycle may not wear a headset covering,Okay, that clearly adds in-ear headphones or earbuds to the law, but this exception is unchanged:
orearplugs in, or earphones covering, resting on, or inserted in, both ears. This prohibition does not apply to any of the following: ...
(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.My ear buds do attenuate injurious noise levels without inhibiting my ability to hear a siren or horn. So I do not see how this law has any effect on me wearing earbuds in my car or bicycle.
The police and judges may have another opinion, but safety is the intent of the law, and I do believe that earbuds are safer because they allow controlling volume to the ears. The law appears written to allow for that.