PLYMOUTH, Minn. (KMSP) - This month, the Plymouth Police Department is going to target drivers wearing both headphones – it’s illegal in Minnesota to have earbuds in both ears while operating a motor vehicle.
Police said the initiative is aimed at reducing crashes, thereby saving lives and reducing injuries by educating motorists about the law.
Minnesota Statute 169.471, Subd. 2 says “No person, while operating a motor vehicle, shall wear headphones or earphones that are used in both ears simultaneously for purposes of receiving or listening to broadcasts or reproductions from radios, tape decks, or other sound-producing or transmitting devices.”
That means drivers can use one earbud but must make sure one ear is able to listen to noises on the road, like a siren, horn or screeching brakes.
“Drivers should focus on one thing while behind the wheel – driving,” said Plymouth Patrol Officer Scott Kirchner. “It’s dangerous and distracting when music or other entertainment is drowning out a driver’s ability to focus on the road and avoid potential crashes or hear an approaching emergency vehicle.”