Plan Insurance Blog

Why driving with headphones could land you £5,000 FINE and NINE points.

A trend many fall victim to, here’s why there are harsh consequences for those behind the wheel with headphones on.

While there is no fixed rule surrounding the use of headphones while driving, it is still possible to be stopped by Police if they are judged to be a distraction. Wearing headphones is viewed as a risk to a driver’s safety, as well as other road users. As awareness is reduced, the driver can miss actions happening on the road around them.
Emergency sirens, level crossing signals and noise being made by other road users can all be missed while using an earpiece. If a lack of attention is picked up on by police, motorists can be charged for careless driving or driving without due care and attention on the spot. This fine includes £100 and three penalty points. However, if a case is taken to court, the fine can be escalated to £5,000, up to 9 penalty points and even a ban.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said:
“A really good driver uses all their senses to anticipate problems.
“Cutting out your hearing could mean you miss key clues about the road surface such as black ice, or warnings from other road users.
“Added to that is the distraction factor of anything you have banging away directly into your ears.
“Some types of music have been shown to make drivers speed and be more aggressive, and that intimate podcast you saved up could be so good you start thinking about it and not the road ahead.
“Just like eating at the wheel anything that reduces your attention could make you a hazard to yourself and other drivers and riders, and that’s careless driving in our, and the police’s, eyes.
“It can be dealt with by a quick fixed penalty fine at the roadside so the chances of getting away with it if spotted are slim. So our advice is can the cans when driving.”

Read our previous blog to see other mistakes that could face harsh consequences: