David asked: If a deaf person is allowed to ride a bike, why can’t headphones be worn while riding a bike?
My answer must be that it is illegal. If you are asking why the law is in place, I don’t have access to the legislative intent and don’t have the answer.
Surrounding sounds are cues we can use for our safety. The statute that applies is not specific to bicyclists, but includes all vehicle operators and provides for the use of hearing aids.
s. 316.304 – Wearing of Headsets
(1) No person shall operate a vehicle while wearing a headset, headphone, or other listening device, other than a hearing aid or instrument for the improvement of defective human hearing.
(2) This section does not apply to:
(d) Any person using a headset in conjunction with a cellular telephone that only provides sound through one ear and allows surrounding sounds to be heard with the other ear.
(There are other exceptions that do not apply to bicyclists, other than police officers on bicycles.)