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Drivers who choose to wear headphones in the car might quickly discover police sirens in their rearview mirror - if they can hear them.
The action of using headphones while behind the wheel is not an actual offence in Victoria, but could lead to being charged with careless driving.
Wangaratta Highway Patrol Sergeant Michael Connors said police regularly pull see motorists with headphones in their ears.
“They wouldn’t be able to hear what’s going on,” he said.
“It just blocks out anything else going on around them.”
Just because the single act of wearing headphones is not technically illegal, does not mean it will escape police attention.
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Sergeant Connors said officers will pull over drivers to educate them on the dangers of wearing headphones before sending them off with a warning.
He said one of the main issues would be not seeing an ambulance or other emergency vehicle with lights and sirens behind them, potentially on their way to a life or death situation.
“They’re just totally oblivious to what is going on,” he said.
But if the headphones did lead to a crash, the driver could be headed to court to face serious penalties.
“You’d be looking a something like careless driving because you weren’t paying attention,” Sergeant Connors said.
The TAC advises drivers to pull over safely if they do need to use phone, or wait until the journey has finished, and always unplug headphones to hear approaching traffic.
Learner, P1 and P2 drivers are completely banned from using a mobile phone while driving, with or without hands-free technology or headphones, including while stationary but not parked.
VicRoads says the presence of a phone DVD player, tablet or Smartwatch is major sources of distraction for young drivers, especially as they are still building experience and developing skills.
The story Are you allowed to drive while wearing headphones? first appeared on The Border Mail (Suzuka2).