Is there a Law...

…in Victoria to prohibit cyclists (of any sort!) from using an iPod or similar while riding?

I’ve found the “Code of Conduct” for cyclists on the VicRoads website, but can’t find evidence of a specific law…

(And no, this thread is not me attempting to find out whether I can or not; it came up in conversation today and I got curious to know if there was a law in place.)


sorta … not quite a law, more of a theory: Darwin’s

no, but there might be soon for operating it ie, hands and eyes on the ipod rather than the road, similar to using a mobile while driving. i don’t think anythings enshrined in law yet though.

But i thoroughly agree with Spirito’s comment.

Oh, natural selection is definitely alive and well!

We were talking about a situation - say if someone is listening to an iPod and is in an accident where they are in the way of a vehicle, is the driver of that vehicle responsible if the cyclist is hurt if they attempted to do all the right things, honked horn (music would have to be pretty loud!), heavy braking etc? Just curious, but I think you’re asking for an accident if you ride with something in your ears other than the traffic.

Yeah I agree, not the best idea regardless of the legal aspect…

then its ultimatley a q of who’s got right of way. if someone is listening to an ipod and not obeying the road rules then they deserve everything they get…

Nobody has ‘right of way’. Everybody has an obligation to avoid a collision.

Anyway, this has been done to death and the answer to the original question is, no there is no specific law prohibiting it.

It’s a question of who has followed the road rules or not (and then perhaps who tried harder to avoid collision) and rarely it’s just that accidents happen. Is interesting to examine, but as snowflake suggests, rather repetitive.

Anyway, thanks to all who confirmed that for me, I just wanted to know if I wasn’t looking in quite the right places!

So what happened Katie?

Nothing more than hypothetical really. A girl recently had a scary moment riding a horse around a regional road while listening to an iPod and upon hearing about the incident a friend and I got talking about idiots who do use iPod’s while riding (bikes or horses!) and the kind of legal traps/insurance debacles they set themselves up for.

I’m looking to start commuting properly as soon as I can and went looking on VicRoads to brush up any little do’s and don’ts just incase there were some details I’ve forgotten. Got curious when I couldn’t anything and thought I’d ask here when my Google Fu failed me!

I listen to my ipod EVERYWHERE, but I don’t when I am on my bike. Half of my awareness of the cars around me are from their noise.

Why do you assume that listening to music whilst riding makes them idiots?

Look, I personally wouldn’t as I believe the action puts my life in danger, especially given that the roads I’m possibly looking at commuting on in the near future are major roads with heavy traffic. Each to their own though, as clarified here any person who listens to music is quite within their legal right to do so.

I view myself as more vulnerable to the movements of other road users whilst riding than when driving and like to have full use of my hearing. I do the same as j-ho has mentioned above and use an iPod everywhere else, but never on a bike. Some people might deem one headphone okay, or feel that they are capable because they know the roads they’re using well/are far more experienced than me/any other reason and that’s completely their choice, I realise that.

I haven’t explicitly stated that all cyclists using iPods are idiots, but that there are idiots who use iPods whilst riding. Now yes, I don’t personally think it’s a smart idea, but providing that person feels within their comfort zone it’s a bit like listening to music in the car and that’s completely their choice. I put the radio on, I just don’t feel comfortable doing what I consider to be the equivalent in a more vulnerable situation. If I was talking more about bike paths/regional roads with very low traffic, perhaps I would feel differently, who knows.

I was also curious given the recent increase in laws surrounding handsfree devices/GPS’s, but there are laws about using a mobile phone while riding.

there are idiots that don’t listen to ipods while riding, and there are idiots that do. if you are sensible and have earphones that let in a lot of outside noise then i don’t see it as an issue.
i listen to the radio on my way to work, but i can still hear everything that is going on around me.

Yeah see Squid I’ve spent the last ten years searching for a pair of headphones that DON’T let anything else in, so I forget that maybe that’s an option… Fair point.

As I said, each to their own. As you said, there are dickheads who do and don’t use iPods and dickheads who do and don’t ride in lycra and dickheads who… (So on/so forth). :slight_smile:

it may or may not make you an idiot, but etymotic er-6i have excellent sound isolation, and also stay put when riding.

personally i love riding with headphones, though i (generally) only ride with one ear on the roads (and two on bike tracks). a pet hate of mine is the constant wind noise when riding, so the more sound isolation the better.

I think pedestrians with ipods are way more dangerous than cyclists with ipods.

im guilty of doing this but only very late at night on my way home from work, there’s no traffic and im in a bike lane. i still worry about sleepy taxi drivers but can generally sense headlights beaming past.

even then i hate myself for doing it but it makes the 4am ride home so much easier!!

i remeber seeing a helmet possibly on this forum that used the acoustics of the shell as a type of speaker so your not blocking ambient noise. interesting idea but would most probably sound like your dragging a tin can

i keep meaning to buy a phone holder i can put on the shoulder strap of my bag so i can play music through my iphone. i tried to secure it between the velcro of the shoulder pad and the strap itself but i never feel confident it’s going to stay put.

that would be my solution if only i could remember to buy one!! i think nikcee mentioned one at Fix Up that held an iphone…

i don’t like riding with headphones (mine block out ALL other noise)

Left ear in, right ear out. Can hear the traffic coming up over your right shoulder. Best of both worlds. I’ve done it on a 30km commute in melbourne in peak hour with no probs, aside from the usual f/wit drivers (and occassional cyclist, who can’t track stand, doesn’t want to stop and keeps inching forward at the lights until they decide to go straight through before the change and don’t realise there will be a green right turn arrow before the straight ahead and almost get cleaned up, in the process making all cyclists look stupid.)

Probably doesn’t work as well with music (stereo speakers) but I listen to a lot of podcasts so one ear is fine.