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New Law Requires California Drivers to Give Up Their Ear Buds

By Ross Jurewitz on January 29, 2016

Ear BudsFor years, Californians have enjoyed the privilege of wearing ear buds while they drive around town or biking along city streets. Whether you were talking to a co-worker or listening to the new Rihanna, you could hear everything loud and clear without any distractions. Lawmakers in Sacramento, however, saw it differently. They, along with some concerned specialists and citizens determined the ear buds posed a real threat driver safety. So starting January 1st, drivers and cyclists living in the state of California are no longer be permitted to wear buds in both ears while operating their vehicle of choice.

Of course, the law only says “both ears.” Which means for anyone who doesn’t mind listening in mono, one bud can still be used. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently sent out a letter reminding riders and drivers that SB 491 is now an enforceable law. The DMV states that the particular law “does not apply to persons operating authorized emergency vehicles, construction equipment and refuse or waste equipment.” This also applies to anyone who requires a hearing aid. Any other motorist or biker caught using two ear buds could face a $160 fine.

Of course, even those who enjoyed the ability to use ear buds while driving or cycling admit that the doing so was risky while driving. If you’re unable to hear on-coming traffic – especially emergency vehicles – you could cause a serious accident. This also means if you have been involved in an accident with someone using ear buds illegally, you may have grounds to pursue legal action.

For more information about this or to schedule an appointment to review your options, contact Jurewitz Law Group today. We can be reached at (888) 233-5020.

Ross Jurewitz

Ross Jurewitz is the founder and managing lawyer of the Jurewitz Law Group, a San Diego personal injury attorney law firm. These San Diego injury accident lawyers specialize in helping people seriously injured in a variety of accidents throughout San Diego County and California.

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