22 April 2015

Spain: Bluetooth Headsets

When we were in Spain last summer I used my Cardo Scala headset connected to my TomTom Rider everyday.  I did check the law in case it was different to the UK, but although there was something passed in 2003 aimed at the overuse of handheld mobile phones by drivers and drivers using iPod speakers in their ears, it seems it may have covered motorcycle use of the headsets.

One of the many other motorcycling blogs I follow on blogspot is Gary France's "Flies in your Teeth" and he also brings up this subject.  Follow the link to see the full story.

I have replied with what I had found out from RACE (Real Automóvil Club de España) but as yet he's not added my comment.

The translation from Jorge at RACE is:

"The Rules of the road says in Article 18 Section 2 of the following:

"It is forbidden to use headphones or connected to receivers or sound reproducing apparatus, except during the corresponding teaching headphones and conducting try outs open for obtaining driving license for two-wheel motorcycles circuit when required by the Regulations on Drivers.

Use is prohibited while driving mobile devices and any other means or communication system, except when developing communication takes place without using hands or wear helmets, headphones or similar instruments (Article 11.3, second paragraph of articulated) text.

Exempted from the ban's enforcement officers in the exercise of the functions that have entrusted (Article 11.3, third paragraph of text articles). "

Therefore it would be forbidden, but really there is a loophole, because the court of Zaragoza, in the judgement of June 22, 2010, ruled in favour of a motorist who had been fined for carrying and using intercoms, claiming that:

"It is a small headphones that are placed on the hull, not the ears, but against these. This seems to lead us to conclude that this is a headset, and therefore the prohibition is violated, but the fact is that the difference between a speaker and headset becomes not the shape or size, but the form of use, so that the headset is in contact with the inner part of the ear, blocking the ear, which is to prevent or greatly hinder the reception of other noises, covered by the handset and usually overcome by the sound coming out of it, besides producing or promoting a certain self-absorption of the driver.

Therefore, in this configuration, by not going glued to the ear, we are rather to a speaker that does not stick to the ear and in principle can have a limiting effect on the perception of external noise, which adds to the that if it produces the helmet, but it is actually similar to a speaker inside a car (car well soundproofed and powerful music apparatus hardly hear outside if it takes a certain amount that), the which is not prohibited.

In short, we may find ourselves alleged that the legislation would prohibit wanted but not exactly fit the ban, or at least raises serious doubts, and therefore, pending regulatory clarification possible, apply the principle of in dubio pro reo, which proceeds to estimate the resource and waive the penalty."

Clear as mud, but we can still use them?


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