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Thread: MA Riders: Helmet Speakers?

  1. #1
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    MA Riders: Helmet Speakers?

    [rant]

    So I just found out that helmet speakers are prohibited in MA. Huh?

    What is the reason behind this? Doesn't the intent of this prohibition this collide with the recommendation that motorcyclists use ear protection (plugs)? Is the State suggesting that I NOT wear earplugs?

    I understand some could consider listening to chatter or music a distracting element, so why can my auto interior have speakers but my helmet cannot?

    Seems a bit silly to me. Personally, I don't like listening to music when I ride, but I would like to be able to communicate with my SO without resorting to Morse Code.

    [/rant]

    Theo

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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEO View Post
    So I just found out that helmet speakers are prohibited in MA. Huh?
    This is what the AMA reports, however, they have not been able to provide a citation, nor can I find one in the Massachusetts General Laws. A buddy, a LEO who rides in western Mass, couldn't find a citation either. So the whole thing sounds like a crock to me.

    FWIW, I've pulled my earbuds out in front a cop who already had an issue with me many times on Massachusetts roadsides.
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    Registered User 119240's Avatar
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    Ditto Tom here to - But a warning for me
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  4. #4
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    I have had a hemet speaker and mike forever.

    Had had no issues.

    Seems silly to me also
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  5. #5
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    OK. I had a little time to kill today so I decided to pursue this issue. A careful read of the MGL Ch 90, Sec 7 and a perusal of all relevant RMV documents yielded no information pertaining to helmet speakers. So, I called the Registry and, after speaking (it seemed) to everyone on the payroll, I wound up talking to the State Trooper who does the driving tests. He was unaware of any law against helmet speakers but indicated that I might want to call my local PDs.

    I then talked to four of the surrounding police departments. Still couldn't find anyone who thought they were illegal. A very nice Officer talked with me a while and suggested that I talk with the Massachusetts State Police Headquarters in Framingham, MA.

    My call to the HQ was handled efficiently and I was forwarded to the Trooper who answers questions re: auto/motorcycle laws.

    Bottom line: no one was aware of any prohibition! The best answer, however, came from the friendly Trooper at State Police who said: "I'd much rather have you communicating with your passenger over a radio with your eyes forward than to turn your head and communicate!"

    Well, my point exactly!

    He went on to say that perhaps the AMA got mixed up and was citing the prohibition against using headphones in a automobile (true).

    So with that info, I feel comfortable purchasing a communication system. And to 119240, that warning was probably not called for without any legal substantiation.
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
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    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Nice work!

    AS I am also here in the land where most everything is made difficult, Mass, I thank you for your effort. I am almost to the point in my Ham Radio/Weather/Broadcast radio install where it's wires or Bluetooth. I would like to try the system on wire before I commit to the Bluetooth for the helmet and the radio module.
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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  7. #7
    Wired for sound!
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    Out here on the left coast, we have a rule / law / something...

    27400. A person operating a motor vehicle or bicycle may not wear a
    headset covering, or earplugs in, both ears. This prohibition does
    not apply to any of the following:
    (a) A person operating authorized emergency vehicles, as defined
    in Section 165.
    (b) A person engaged in the operation of either special
    construction equipment or equipment for use in the maintenance of any
    highway.
    (c) A person engaged in the operation of refuse collection
    equipment who is wearing a safety headset or safety earplugs.
    (d) A person wearing personal hearing protectors in the form of
    earplugs or molds that are specifically designed to attenuate
    injurious noise levels. The plugs or molds shall be designed in a
    manner so as to not inhibit the wearer's ability to hear a siren or
    horn from an emergency vehicle or a horn from another motor vehicle.
    (e) A person using a prosthetic device that aids the hard of
    hearing.

    Is it enforced? Puh-leeze... I see more folks with their iPod plugged in to their skulls than I see cell phones being used without a hands free device. I think the key point here is "not inhibit the wearer's ability to hear a siren or
    horn from an emergency vehicle". In which case, I have to turn down the volume on my Pink Floyd CD...

  8. #8
    Registered User 119240's Avatar
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    It's like J walking & grills in parks - we have laws but sometime enforced
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    Huh. A restrictive law in Massachusetts?!? NO WAY!!!

    Come north. Live free or die, man! I left Massachusetts 30 years ago. (Wow, it really has been that long! Man, I'm getting old!)

    I suppose they are looking more at the loud, distracting music aspect that might keep you from hearing sirens and horns. I suppose that makes sense. I drove down to Mass a couple weeks back (poor relatives that are still stuck there!) and wore my Bose noise canceling headphones all the way down and back. Talk about pushing my luck. Only saw one Statey and pulled them down.

    I don't like speakers (for music) when I'm riding. Don't like ear buds, don't even like a stereo. I just like the sound of the bike. I went to custom ear molds this year because my tinnitus is so bad now that I'm hypersensitve to certain frequencies. And I went to a new 3/4 helmet that is very loud.

    But I avoid Mass at all costs unless I'm visiting relatives. At least they live in western MA which does have some very nice riding. I hate not being able to carry my gun either!

  10. #10
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Me Too-

    Quote Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
    Huh. A restrictive law in Massachusetts?!? NO WAY!!!

    Come north. Live free or die, man! I left Massachusetts 30 years ago. (Wow, it really has been that long! Man, I'm getting old!)

    I suppose they are looking more at the loud, distracting music aspect that might keep you from hearing sirens and horns. I suppose that makes sense. I drove down to Mass a couple weeks back (poor relatives that are still stuck there!) and wore my Bose noise canceling headphones all the way down and back. Talk about pushing my luck. Only saw one Statey and pulled them down.

    I don't like speakers (for music) when I'm riding. Don't like ear buds, don't even like a stereo. I just like the sound of the bike. I went to custom ear molds this year because my tinnitus is so bad now that I'm hypersensitve to certain frequencies. And I went to a new 3/4 helmet that is very loud.

    But I avoid Mass at all costs unless I'm visiting relatives. At least they live in western MA which does have some very nice riding. I hate not being able to carry my gun either!
    My tinnitus is a cross between a whistling tea kettle and a summer night-at conversational level. Having some music to buffer it would be a big help.

    Nice move on getting out of Mass, they are sure not making it any easier.
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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