Is it legal to use a motorcycle intercom while riding? The definitive answer

    Hi rider, welcome back to motorbikeintercom.com, the No.1 website about motorcycle earphones.

    If you don’t know who I am, let me introduce myself: I’m Filippo, a motorcycle enthusiast and intercom expert, and in this article I’ll answer a very difficult question that many of you have asked me: is using a motorcycle intercom while riding legal?

    To give a valid answer, I decided to personally contact some intercom manufacturers.

    Here is what Sena’s manager said:

    The intercoms are in a “gray area“, meaning that the rules of the highway code – which are a bit outdated by now – certainly were not written taking into account the intercoms.

    They are generally accepted because of the difference between in-ear headset and speakerphone and are basically equivalent to a car speakerphone.

    The use of hands-free or earphones is, in fact, permitted, provided that the driver has adequate hearing capabilities to both ears and that the use of hands is not required for their operation.

    Therefore, single earphone devices are commonly accepted – the law refers to a singular earpiece – and intercoms, regularly approved, as they are treated as a normal hands-free device, equipped with a earphone..

    Conversely, it is forbidden to consult the phonebook or retrieve data from the cell phone’s memory while riding, because “such use results in a distraction that causes you to divert your attention from driving to using the device, or divert your view from the road. Moreover, the commitment of one of the hands on the cell phone implies a delay in operating, where necessary, the driving systems, which is not understandable since the driving needs of the vehicle may require immediate psychotechnical reaction time” .

    Generally, the company does not take responsibility for the use of its products in a non-compliant manner with local road traffic regulations.

    I, personally, have never heard of even a single case of a customer who has been fined and I would say that they are now widely used and accepted devices.

    That said, if the police decide to fine you, theoretically they can because the highway code mentions single earphones and you should eventually appeal against the fine but, again, as far as I know this has never happened.

    This is the reply from Midland’s technical support manager:

    The automotive regulations, like all laws concerning safety, need an accurate interpretation, which we leave to those who have legal competence.

    Our job is to make motorcycle intercoms that allow the motorcyclist to communicate safely.

    We know that at a normative level there is an ongoing debate that could lead to the regulation of the outer and inner intercom footprint in the helmet.

    The results of this work may lead to new guidelines for future production of Bluetooth intercoms.

    Generally, in Europe, the use of Bluetooth intercom with flat speakers and/or a single headset is allowed, provided that the volume of the audio does not compromise the rider’s attention to the environment.

    That’s why our devices are designed with flat speakers so as not to obstruct the auditory canal..

    Since 2016, we have introduced connectors on the speakers so that one of them can be unplugged if necessary.

    While riding, the attention must remain high, the intercom is a very useful tool because it allows immediate communication with your passenger or friend, listening without distraction to the navigator’s directions and the phone call..

    Some music? Why not! Always keeping the most important aspect in mind: safety.

    Now it’s your time: what do you think about this sensitive issue? Do you feel free to use the intercom while driving or are you afraid of being fined?

    Let me know by leaving a comment down below.

    Cheers,
    Filippo

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