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More than one earphone prohibited while driving

October 15, 2011
By DAVE WERNER ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Have you ever listened to music using earphones while driving? If you have, you violated article 375(24)-a of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. This law prohibits operating a motor vehicle, including limited use automobiles and motorcycles, and even bicycles while the operator is wearing more than one earphone attached to a radio tape player or other audio device.

With high quality sound systems available and electronic storage devices capable of holding hundreds of songs or other recorded entertainment, it can be tempting to drive while listening to your favorite pieces. However, if you use two earphones, you are in violation.

On a similar note, article 375 makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle which is equipped with a television receiving set within view of the driver. It also prohibits driving when a television receiving set is in operation within view of the driver. This seems like saying the same thing twice, but there is a slight difference. In the first sentence, it prohibits driving with the set in view of the driver, even if it is off. The second sentence prohibits driving if a set is turned on and is placed in a location that can be viewed by the driver. An example is a set in the rear seat that can be viewed by the driver if he/she turns his/her head toward the rear.

Vehicles that come equipped with video screens, able to be viewed by the driver, are activated only while the shift lever is in the "park" position. As soon as the shift lever is placed in "drive", the front seat screen is automatically turned off. Obviously, it is illegal to disable this feature.

Global positioning devices are exempt from this law and are allowed to be placed where the driver can easily view them.

For more information on vehicle and traffic law and traffic safety, go the Franklin County Traffic Safety Board's web site at: and click on the Traffic Safety Board under departments.



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