Know the Road with the CHP: Is it legal to drive with headphones?

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An ABC30 viewer wanted to know: is it legal to drive with headphones or earbuds?

"So the law is very specific when it comes to headphones while you're operating a vehicle," said Sgt. Brian Pennings of the California Highway Patrol.

"Yes, it is illegal to drive with headphones or anything that covers your ears while you're driving, but it is specific to both ears," he said, adding that the law applies to both over-ear headphones and earbuds.

"So, for instance, if you have an earbud in for your iPhone and you're driving a vehicle, it is legal for you to do so with one ear but not two."
"If there's a siren or a vehicle honking and letting you know that they're in your blind spot or something of that nature, it's important for you to be able to able to hear those situations," Pennings said.

For other answers from the CHP, go to abc30.com/knowtheroad.
If you have a question about the rules of the road, fill out the form below for a chance to be featured on Know the Road with the CHP.

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