CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8Cops Writing Tickets For Wearing Headphones On Bikes

Cops Writing Tickets For Wearing Headphones On Bikes

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First there was the cell phone law. Now police are writing tickets for people riding bicycles with iPods. A viewer contacted News 8 after a co-worker got busted for listening to music on his bike.

Take a bike ride on the Mission Beach boardwalk and there's no mistaking the rules of the road: no alcohol, no smoking, and now it's illegal to listen to your iPod while riding a bike.

A viewer recently wrote an email to News 8 saying Escondido police wrote her co-worker a ticket.

"He was stopped by a cop and given a $150 ticket because he was listening to his iPod while riding his bike," the email said.

The intent is to keep bike riders from being distracted in traffic.

"I suppose it's a safety issue, you can't really hear what's going on around you when you're plugged into headphones," one man said.

The law has actually been on the books since 2004. Under the California vehicle code, "A person operating a motor vehicle or bicycle may not wear a headset covering, or earplugs in, both ears." It applies to any street, any sidewalk - even the Mission Beach boardwalk.

"I haven't had a problem with it yet. The girls in bikinis are more of a distraction than my headphones, I'm sure," one resident said.

"I can understand it... the same reason they don't have it in cars. But at the same time, we're on a boardwalk," another person said.

Hamel's Bike Shop manager Charles Shaw told News 8 he's never seen anybody get a ticket on the boardwalk for wearing an iPod.

"It's probably a good idea; whether they enforce it or not is another thing. The police have so many priorities, it might not be the thing they concentrate on the most," Shaw said.

But in Escondido, police apparently are enforcing the iPod law.

The Escondido Police Department did not respond to numerous requests to be interviewed.

As it stands now, you're still allowed to talk on your cell phone while riding a bike, but you have to wonder how long that will last.

It's only against the law to ride a bike with headphones in both ears. So if you listen to music in just one ear, you won't get a ticket.

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