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Is it legal to drive wearing headphones?

If your car radio isn’t working properly or your phone not connecting to your car, it might be tempting to use your headphones, but can you? In this next edition of our series, Is it legal to… we explore the legality of driving whilst wearing headphones.

Is it legal to drive wearing headphones?

The simple answer is yes, it is not illegal to drive wearing headphones. However, the law is never simple…

Whilst there is no law against someone driving whilst wearing headphones, it is not recommended.

If a police officer believes you appear distracted, you could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention under the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The Highway Code states that safe driving and riding needs concentration and specifically mentions to avoid distractions such as loud music, as this may mask other sounds, including avoiding starting or adjusting any music or radio.

Wearing headphones can obviously impair concentration and therefore reduce your ‘attention’.

s3ZA of the Road Traffic Act (RTA) 1988 defines the meaning of driving without due care and attention:

A person is to be regarded as driving without due care and attention if (and only if) the way they drive falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

What happens if I am charged?

If you are found to be driving without due care and attention, you are likely to receive between 3-9 points on your licence – however, if this results in injury or death, more serious criminal charges may be brought against you.

How we can help

If you would like advice on any driving offences, please contact our experienced Crime and Motoring team at Fosters Solicitors.

Our specialist Motoring team have a wealth of experience in supporting clients through the entire range of motoring offences, including speeding, careless and dangerous driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

We also act for those being investigated or prosecuted by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), and new drivers committing offences under their probationary licence.

Please call us on 01603 620508, or complete the contact form below with your enquiry or get a free online quote here.

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    This article was produced on the 1st February 2024 by our Crime & Business Defence team for information purposes only and should not be construed or relied upon as specific legal advice.