Most drivers would agree that it is important to use all of your senses while you are behind the wheel to make sure you are fully aware of your surroundings. While keeping your eyes on the road is, of course, essential for safety, so can be keeping your ears open and tuned to the road. In many situations, drivers may be alerted to mistakes or hazards by another car honking or may be instructed to pull over by hearing an ambulance or police siren. Despite the importance of hearing while driving, it has become a more and more common sight to see drivers wearing earbuds or headphones on the road.
In New Jersey, you can get pulled over and ticketed for looking away from the road to send or read a text message. The question is often asked: Can you be ticketed for wearing headphones or earbuds?
While a number of states do have laws that make it illegal to wear headsets or headphones while driving, New Jersey is not one of those states. As of now, there is no law that specifically allows police officers to issue a ticket simply for wearing earbuds while driving. Many people use earbuds as part of a hands-free device to talk on the phone more safely, especially if their vehicles are not equipped with Bluetooth or infotainment systems.
However, it is always a good idea to wear one earbud and keep the other ear free to be more aware of possible hazards or sirens. If you are wearing headphones and listening to music loudly while driving and caused a collision, law enforcement could issue a traffic citation for distracted driving, careless driving, or even reckless driving under certain circumstances. These citations can result in points on your license, costly fines and surcharges, and may even contribute to the suspension of your driver’s license. For these reasons and for safety purposes, it is advisable to keep one ear open while driving in NJ.
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Any type of traffic ticket can be an inconvenience and can also have surprisingly serious penalties. If you have received a citation for distracted driving or any other violation, you should be aware of all of your legal options before you decide whether to pay the fine or challenge the ticket. Please call the Law Offices of Steven H. Fleischer, LLC to discuss your New Jersey traffic violation today.