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(A) No person shall operate a motor vehicle while wearing earphones over, or earplugs in, both ears. As used in this section, EARPHONES means any headset, radio, tape player, or other similar device that provides the listener with radio programs, music, or other recorded information through a device attached to the head and that covers all or a portion of both ears. The term does not include speakers or other listening devices that are built into protective headgear.
(B) This section does not apply to:
(1) Any person wearing a hearing aid;
(2) Law enforcement personnel while on duty;
(3) Fire department personnel and emergency medical service personnel while on duty;
(4) Any person operating equipment for use in the maintenance or repair of any highway;
(5) Any person engaged in the operation of refuse collection equipment.
(C) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.
(R.C. § 4511.84) (Rev. 2004)