Headphones on the bike: is that allowed?

Riding a bike with headphones in or over your ears often results in a police check, often in combination with a fine.

Headphones on the bike: is that allowed?

Riding a bike with headphones in or over your ears often results in a police check, often in combination with a fine. The delinquents pay, because who wants to risk trouble with the police? The basic assumption that headphones are forbidden on bicycles is a "legal error", lawyer Christian Solmecke clarified via YouTube. What is and isn't allowed while driving.

The fundamental decision to use headphones on bicycles dates back to the 1980s and thus to Walkman times. In 1987, the Higher Regional Court of Cologne ruled that the use of headphones was only prohibited if the volume setting led to a "more than negligible hearing impairment". In other words, if you can no longer hear sirens, horns and bells, you are violating the principle of mutual consideration on the road. This constitutes an administrative offense and, according to the current catalog of fines, costs a fine of 15 euros.

In principle, the same rule also applies to telephoning while cycling. On the other hand, what is forbidden is to operate the mobile phone with your hands while driving, i.e. skipping to the next song or replying to a text message. On the other hand, if you are experienced in using your voice control (and have set it up), you can also give your phone instructions while cycling and operate it that way.

On the other hand, if you activate the “hear through” mode that is often integrated in modern headphones and only listen to the music quietly while riding, you cannot be prosecuted for wearing headphones on the bike. Nevertheless, the General German Bicycle Club ADFC advises: "If you want to get through traffic safely, you should use all your senses. The excessive use of music players impairs road safety if the perception of doorbells, strange driving noises or warning calls is disturbed - or even a siren is not heard ."

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