Be careful using earbuds behind the wheel
RCMP Cruiser (Vista Radio stock image)
– Story by Kyle Christensen
Wearing earbuds in both ears is considered distracted driving and the RCMP will be out looking for violators.
The BC Supreme Court recently upheld a decision that wearing earbuds in both ears while driving is deemed distracted driving.
Constable Carlie McCann said there are safe alternatives if you need to use your device while driving.
“A person can use an electronic device in a hands-free function when no part of the device is held or operated by the hand, when actions can be voice-activated, or when only one touch is needed to accept or end a call,” said McCann. “If earbuds are used, only one earbud can be worn and it must be in place before driving starts.”
A Surrey driver who was caught with earbuds in both ears back in 2018 got caught wearing earbuds in both ears, appealed the fine, but it was upheld by BC’s top court.
McCann said this decision doesn’t change the RCMP mandate.
“Our primary goal when enforcing laws against distracted driving is to prevent collisions caused by people using cellphones or other devices when their attention should be on the road,” said McCann. “Especially as we head into winter and will likely have to deal with more difficult road conditions, the RCMP reminds drivers that safety should be their first priority when they’re behind the wheel.”
A distracted driving ticket costs $368 dollars and four penalty points on your driving record.