Is it Legal to Wear Earbuds While Driving in Washington?
I was driving on the 240 Bypass in Richland yesterday and saw a dude one car over with earbuds in.
I thought it was against the law! My father always told me that it was illegal to drive with headphones on. He said it's important to hear everything around you, emergency vehicles, oncoming traffic, etc. And so, I always thought it was illegal to drive with earbuds everywhere. I had to do some investigating.
Is it legal to wear earbuds while driving in Washington?
No. You are NOT to wear earbuds or headphones when driving in Washington.
According to the Washington State Legislature:
(1) No person shall operate any motor vehicle on a public highway while wearing any headset or earphones connected to any electronic device capable of receiving a radio broadcast or playing a sound recording for the purpose of transmitting a sound to the human auditory senses and which headset or earphones muffle or exclude other sounds.
After talking with WSP Trooper Chris Thorson, I learned that it is perfectly legal to have one earbud in.
However, in Oregon, it's a different story.
It is legal to wear earbuds or headphones while driving, but there are some regional exceptions. You cannot drive with earbuds in Beaverton.
It really depends on where you are driving. Some states cite safety issues, making it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with headphones, or earbuds.
In which states is it illegal to drive with earbuds or headphones?