Earphone Law

The new Earphone Law was approved by Governor Brown on October 2, 2016 and effective the new year (2017), it will be illegal to wear “earphones” in both ears while operating a motor vehicle or a bicycle. Earphones are a popular among bicyclists or motor vehicle operators. For bicyclists and motor vehicle operators, it allows them to listen to music in one ear while still being able to operate their respective modes of transportation. Listening to music while operating a bike or a motor vehicle is sometimes a necessity for most people. For some it helps them relax. For others, it helps them concentrate on the road. For others, its entertaining, especially if they are on a very long drive. The new Earphone Law also allows them to talk on their telephones while they are going about their day. It’s productive. It allows them to get their chores or tasks done while they are getting to where they need to be. If they need to be in a meeting, they can do so. If they need to talk to their spouses about the kids, they can do so. If they need to talk to their friends about a get together, they can do so. As long as they have only one earphone in their ear. This Earphone Law, which everyone most likely knows, prohibits a person from wearing the earphones in both ears. But the law goes a little further because it says that it is illegal for earphones to be “rested” on both ears. That’s vague.  Resting on the ears and seemingly being in the ears are two different things. Also, this new addition to the Earphone Law for some reason doesn’t include headsets “resting on” both ears. Is there a difference between earphone and headset? Maybe one is meant for talking and the other is meant for music. But now a days, earphone and headsets can do both. Confusingly, however, it specifically mentions only “earphones.” That will probably cause confusion later down the line and may result in litigation. (SB No. 491)