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Is it Legal to Wear Earbuds While Driving?

Richard S. Lundin
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Personal injury and family law attorney licensed to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia

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11/12/2018
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The answer in Maryland is: no, it's illegal to wear earbuds while driving.

 

But…

  

Is it legal to wear one earbud while driving?  The answer is, yes. 

 

Maryland Transportation Code states, “A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any private property that is used by the public …. while the person is wearing over or in both ears earphones attached to a radio, tape player, or other audio device.” 

 

Note:  “…in both ears…” 

 

This was confirmed at a traffic hearing I attended, where the Judge told the driver, who had been charged with violating this statute, that you can wear one ear bud, but not two, in the state of Maryland. 

 

Don’t give the police probable cause to pull you over because your wearing earbuds while driving in Maryland! 

 

Interestingly, in most other states, wearing earbuds is not banned like it is in Maryland.  For instance, there is no prohibition in the District of Columbia, and in Arizona only school bus drivers and operators of child care vehicles are prohibited from wearing earbuds. 

 

Of course, whether something could be done doesn’t always mean it should be done.  Avoid accidents and injury by avoiding any distraction while driving, whatever its source and whether or not there’s a law against it. 

 

Dedicated to protecting and advancing your rights,

 

Rick Lundin

 


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