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It is not an offence in itself to listen to an iPod or MP3 player whilst driving or cycling.

However, listening to music can be distracting, especially if it is not be possible for the individual to be fully aware of their surroundings. You need to be able to bring to bear all the senses you can whilst driving, and being able to hear is important in enabling you to be in proper control of your vehicle in traffic. Obviously, some people have the disadvantage that they cannot hear too well (or not at all), but the rest of us should not deliberately mask our senses and put ourselves at the same disadvantage.

A person using an MP3 device playing loud music, may, therefore, be deemed not to have proper control of their vehicle or to be driving without reasonable consideration for others, both of which are relatively serious offences.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.