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Can you wear headphones with a chord connected to your phone while driving?

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We have all seen the person driving while wearing earbuds with a physical chord attached to their phone. Have you ever wondered if that was illegal? Does this qualify under the new handsfree requirement law for driving and using your phone in Seattle? No, it is illegal. You can only wear headphones that are approved as hands free headphones for the new driving law. These are paired with your phone via bluetooth.

What is somewhat misleading is the fact that you can wear blue tooth enabled headphones and listen to your iphone podcast or music but you cannot wear chorded headphones even though they both function basically the same. I guess the reasoning behind this is that the chord could cause a driving hazard, which could cause a car accident.

Looking further, the listening device must only cover one ear according to WAC 204-10-045

If you are caught wearing headphones with chords, you will most likely be pulled over and fined $124.

RCW 46.37.480

(2) No person shall operate any motor vehicle on a public highway while wearing any headset or earphones connected to any electronic device capable of receiving a radio broadcast or playing a sound recording for the purpose of transmitting a sound to the human auditory senses and which headset or earphones muffle or exclude other sounds. This subsection does not apply to students and instructors participating in a Washington state motorcycle safety program.

(3) This section does not apply to authorized emergency vehicles, motorcyclists wearing a helmet with built-in headsets or earphones as approved by the Washington state patrol, or motorists using hands-free, wireless communications systems, as approved by the equipment section of the Washington state patrol.
Andrew CherinCan you wear headphones with a chord connected to your phone while driving?

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