The New York Times: “Is It Legal to Wear Headphones While Driving?”, Keith Williams

The New York Times asked Steve Vaccaro how the laws against using earphones in traffic applied to pedestrians:

“While the restriction does not apply to pedestrians, the use of devices might undermine their legal claims when they are injured by a driver.

“I have had cases where I believe the jury has held it against a pedestrian even for just having a phone with them,” said Steve Vaccaro, a lawyer who specializes in representing cyclists and pedestrians who have been injured by motor vehicles. “The defense counsel makes a huge deal out of that.”

The law was worded to allow for helmet-mounted speakers, which are popular among motorcyclists. But newer technologies, like Apple AirPods and other wireless headphones, seem to fall into a gray area; a court would need to interpret the meaning of the word “attached” in the law.

Read the full report here.