[Dixielandjazz] Listening to music while driving

Edgerton, Paul A paul.edgerton at eds.com
Thu Jan 6 13:24:00 PST 2005

Ben wrote:
"...in California it's illegal to listen to stuff on headphones.  I was
pulled over once and issued a ticket for doing just that.  You shoulda
pleaded 'not guilty' and used as your defense the fact that deaf people are
issued driver's licenses - selective enforcement, ain't?"

Ben, much as I agree with you in principle, that would be an unfortunate
thing to do for several reasons:

- The selective enforcement argument won't be accepted because failure to
enforce a rule doesn't rule out future enforcement efforts.  (How many times
has an obscure old law been dredged up and used to skewer somebody?)

- It could be argued that a deaf person cannot be distracted by music, but a
normal person would be and further, that wearing headphones actually
interferes with one's ability to hear potential warning sounds such sirens,
squealing tire, etc.

- Most perniciously, having concluded from the previous item that aural
distractions are bad, lawmakers will craft a regulation preventing us from
listening to music even over regular speakers!

I find that a little aural distraction (that's 'AU' -- not 'O') makes my
daily commute much easier and I arrive home with lower blood pressure.  If
some shyster tries to deprive me of this important therapeutic aid, I'll
know who to blame: Ben Fowlkes!

Paul Edgerton, 
who is NAL, 
who is deeply saddened by the loss of a role model: Bob Craven 

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