[FoRK] Bye bye bye Roe v. Wade

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Wed Jan 19 13:59:47 PST 2005

I know that's the rationale, but for a bicycle, I'm not going to inflict 
damage on anything else in the street so it's only protecting me.
Headphones of the lightweight, sports kind do not block out surrounding 
sound, at least not nearly as much as any vehicle with the windows closed.
If you have the radio on and the windows closed in a car, especially if 
the car is fairly soundproofed and the music is loud, you can only hear 
really loud sounds and even then you often can't be sure if it's real or 
in the music.

A far better restriction would have been sound level in vehicles for 

I read the entire Virginia code a few years ago (but I didn't have a 
full set of regulations) and there is nothing in there about headsets in 
cars.  Besides, they're required now in many places to use a cell 
phone.  What's the difference?

To draw some analogies as far as being a danger to yourself and not others:
You don't need a drivers license to drive motorcycles with less than 
50ccs.  In the past these were weak and slow, but I know someone who, 
because they won't get their license back for a while, just bought a 
"Replica" model that looks just like a slightly small 'crotch rocket' 
and he's had it up to 70MPH on the highway.
You don't need a pilot's license to fly an ultralight plane and the 
license for a glider is very simple and with no medical requirements.
Skydiving, scuba diving, racetrack driving, hunting are all legal.


mattj at newsblip.com wrote:

>>What is it with California's laws prohibiting wearing headphones while
>>riding a bicycle? (Can you run or inline skate with headphones??) That's
>>just too much. (I was stopped with a warning on a bike in Berkeley in
>Isn't it obvious?  They prohibit it for the same reason every state (I think)
>prohibits wearing headphones while driving a car.  It may prevent you from
>hearing external sounds well enough to avoid danger.  This is to protect you,
>but it's also to protect others.  In this sense, it is rather different from a
>helmet law.
>(I'm assuming you were riding your bicycle in the street, as is required in most
>places.  If you're just jogging on the sidewalk, wearing headphones risks
>nobody's life (except maybe your own in the case of freak accidents.))
>Arguably, some cars are so much better insulated from external sound these days
>than decades ago that there may be less utility in such laws.  I think a cost
>benefit analysis would still show it rather useful, though.
>-Matt Jensen
> Seattle
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