I work in radio…I love music!  Whether I’m driving local from Adams to Pittsfield, or taking a longer trip to Springfield or Boston, I’m always playing some music and have the radio on.  And, if you’re reading this article on our station’s website, chances are you’re the same!

But, remember this as you’re driving in Massachusetts:  You can’t wear headphones in both ears.  This goes for anything from traditional headphones to airpods.  You must have at least one ear free.

WNAW AM logo
Get our free mobile app

Why?  It’s all about the sirens!

Well, ok, it’s mostly about the sirens.

Closeup of Lights Flashing on a Police Car

This stems from the Hands-Free While Driving law that went into effect February 23, 2020 here in Massachusetts.  Let's face it, when you’re out driving during the day, it can be hard to see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle.  They don’t stand out like they would at night.  What DOES stand out during the day are the sirens, warning of their approach.


As such, you need at least one ear open to hear those approaching emergency vehicles!  Or, horns from other cars…or even other drivers cursing you out for some reason.  So, while the use of a headphone in one ear is permitted, you can’t have it in both ears.

Pile of Twenty Dollar Bills
Ingram Publishing

The first fine is $100, followed by $250, then $500 plus other penalties that are incurred.  And, I don’t know about you, but I’d have trouble paying a $10 fine, never mind $100.  So, keep that radio on, keep that music playing…but keep it running on your vehicles' sound system, and ditch the headphones (unless you want to wear them on just one ear…but that’s just weird).

If you need a refresher of the hands-free law, or want a full breakdown, you can find it at this link:

Hands-Free Law | Mass.gov


LOOK: See the iconic cars that debuted the year you were born


More From WNAW AM