Headsets While on the Sidewalk


Tom asked: If cyclists have all the rights and responsibilities as pedestrians while riding on a sidewalk or bike path, shouldn’t wearing headphones be legal as long as they are removed upon entering a roadway?


A bicyclist on the sidewalk has the rights and duties of a pedestrian, but the wording of the statute is important. Those rights and duties apply to the circumstances at the time and place.

s. 316.2065Bicycle Regulations

(9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

The statute does not say ONLY the rights and duties of a pedestrian under all circumstances. Whether in the roadway, a bike path or on a sidewalk, the cyclist is still operating a vehicle, so must comply with statutes that are applicable to the vehicle such as helmets, lights and DUI. Included also would be the statute that prohibits the use of headsets.

s. 316.304Wearing 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 ….

3 Comments on “Headsets While on the Sidewalk

  1. Interesting. So you can’t use a standalone music player, but you can use your phone as a music player (as long as only one ear is covered).

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