Is It Illegal to Drive with Your Earmuffs on in Canada?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Eric N, Mar 4, 2019.

    1. Eric N

      Eric N Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal QC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012, 03/2016, 05/2017, 05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + 3 major increases via (shouting / MRI/ flu+Tylenol)
      I just got a $170 ticket for driving with my ear muffs on. I explained to the officer that they are earmuffs, not headphones, and I use them because I have hearing issues.

      He gave me the ticket anyway so I guess he didn't understand.

      I was on my way to see the doctor when this happened so I got a note from the doctor saying I have tinnitus and I use the ear muffs to protect against sound.

      Should I try to contest this ticket?
       
    2. Vicki14
      Panicky

      Vicki14 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      Yeah, most definitely!!!!
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    3. Kste Adams
      Studious

      Kste Adams Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      TMD, Noise?
      Personally I wouldn't drive with ear muffs - I want to hear what's going on around me. For example, I always hear emergency vehicles before I see them. On the other hand, I don't think it would hurt to contest the ticket unless you have to pay to do so. You may even get some helpful information from them, such as what the laws say about deaf persons who want to drive.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Eric N

      Eric N Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal QC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012, 03/2016, 05/2017, 05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + 3 major increases via (shouting / MRI/ flu+Tylenol)
      I most certainly need to drive with hearing protection on when I go on the highway, already got a spike with the ear muffs on so now I need to use ear muffs and earplugs.
       
    5. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      There is a good chance that the officer won't show up to court. If he shows up, the judge will likely reduce the fine.

      You just got unlucky. Were you wearing X5A or X4A?
       
    6. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      When one wears muffs, one can still hear people screaming, the ambulance, drivers honking their horn, etc.

      If one wears noise cancelling headphones + earplugs, one can hear the sounds above even better (as the headphones eliminate the hum of the engine). NC headphones + earplugs are as good as muffs + earplugs, but it would be harder to argue that one hasn't been listening to music.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Eric N

      Eric N Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal QC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012, 03/2016, 05/2017, 05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + 3 major increases via (shouting / MRI/ flu+Tylenol)
      Something similar, same type of earmuff.

      I am not sure if this law applies to earmuffs or not, but you can not listen to music with earphones in both ears.

      http://legisquebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/showdoc/cs/C-24.2?langCont=en#se:443_2

      I need to find out if this is illegal or not, it's not about the money but because I need to wear earmuffs on the highway.
       
    8. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I live in Canada, and over the past two years I spent a lot of time driving while wearing muffs/NC headphones. At one point, I looked into the law in my province (not Quebec), and I was disappointed when it turned out that in fact wearing muffs is illegal. I don't remember the exact language of the law, but I also was hoping that it was just illegal to listen to the music, and my takeaway was that even headphones are illegal.

      The good news is that this is not a common problem, so the cops are not on the lookout for people wearing headphones, and chances are that you won't get stopped again. You got very unlucky. By the way, during the winter some people wear muffs to protect their ears from the cold, so it is likely that a Canadian cop will assume that what they are seeing is the equivalent of a winter hat.

      I would pull off my muffs whenever I would see a police car (or see that I am about to drive past police officers).
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I recommend that you try NC headphones (e.g., Bose Q25) with earplugs. They are more comfortable, and they seem to be a little more effective when worn in a car on a highway. You will want to wear earplugs underneath them to protect your ears from the waves they generate. In theory, this shouldn't be a problem (and you can't hear any sounds made by the headphones), but some people believe they got T as a result of wearing them.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    10. OnceUponaTime
      Busy

      OnceUponaTime Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      What a bummer!

      Yes, of course you should!
       
    11. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles/machine guns and loud Music/clubs
      Is it illegal to drive in Canada if you are deaf ?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    12. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      *even muffs are illegal
       
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    13. another sean
      Studious

      another sean Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Los Angeles
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Long duration of low audio
      I drive with X5A's and can hear traffic just fine. I take them off if I see a copper driving by just in case. The last thing I need is an officer at my car door with his radio going off every few minutes next to me while I explain my condition and show him my handicap papers.
       
    14. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Although no two people experience tinnitus the same the fact of the matter is this: When this condition is severe and intrusive, it is not a good idea for a person to get behind a wheel and drive, because concentration can be impaired making control of a vehicle hazardous. A driver is putting themselves in danger and other road users. If a person has hyperacusis and is sensitive to sound, then I advise wearing "noise reducing" earplugs. These will reduce external sound but won't impair it, such as foam earplugs or earmuffs which block-out a lot of external sound.

      I have been a driver for many years. Twenty three years ago when I acquired tinnitus with severe hyperacusis, there were times I didn't feel confident to drive so chose not to. We all have a duty of care when we decide to get behind the wheel, for It can be a deadly weapon when not used safely. I think it unwise for anyone to be driving with earmuffs for the reason I've mentioned above. I have seen people driving and listening to music through headphones or earbuds, which is a stupid thing to do, as it only takes a slip in concentration to cause an accident and someone is killed!

      My advice is to take your medicine and pay the fine. Reflect on what you have done and I hope that you see, it was an error of judgement to be wearing earmuffs. I don't think much of your doctor for agreeing with you. As I have mentioned in my post: Hyperacus, As I see it. It is the overuse of hearing protection, earmuffs and earplugs that make tinnitus and hyperacusis worse. Used correctly they can be of help. However, they often cause more harm than good due to reducing the loudness threshold of the auditory system.

      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
    15. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Ignoring the signals sent to you by your own body is what often makes T and H worse.

      If you get spikes after driving and don't get spikes after driving with hearing protection - you know what to do.

      By the way - the chance of getting a ticket is low. When compared to the chance of getting a spike when driving without protection (the downside is worse [compared to a fine under $200] and the likelihood of the downside is higher), again it is clear what has to be done.
       
    16. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
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      May 1st 2018
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      No, it's not illegal.

      Actually I just made that up I have no idea.
       
    17. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles/machine guns and loud Music/clubs
      Since completely deaf people are allowed to drive in every country then surely driving with noise reduction hearing protection is also legal
       
    18. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You are trying to be clever and I'm not going to get into a debate with you about this. The author of this thread asked should he contest his ticket? I have advised that he pay the fine as I believe he was wrong to be wearing earmuffs whilst driving. Overuse of hearing protection which is something that can easily happen causes more harm than good. I know your opinion on the use of earmuffs and earplugs and not going to go over old history.

      Michael
       
    19. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      You are providing advice that has the potential to harm. I am trying to minimize the number of T sufferers who will end up getting hurt.
      Who said that listening to the signals from your own body and acting accordingly results in overuse of hearing protection?
       
    20. Karl28
      No Mood

      Karl28 Member

      Location:
      Melbourne
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 bad since 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music via headphones
      Get black or brown coloured ear muffs and dark window tinting and then no one shother be able to notice them
       
    21. Starthrower
      Wtf

      Starthrower Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Surgery
      @Eric N so sorry about the ticket. This is what I would do.

      I would show up on the court day not necessarily to contest the fine/ticket but to provide information to the judge about why you needed to wear the muffs. I would not be combative but just there to explain your situation.

      This would bring about better awareness for tinnitus for some people.

      That is quite a large fine!!

      I remember years ago flying somewhere and I had my bose headset on but not turned on to protect my ears at take off. The flight attendant came over and pulled them off my head. It was very unnerving at that time. I remember crying and explaining my situation to her after we were in air. She felt really bad. She said at that time that a note from my doctor would have allowed me to keep them on during take off and landing.

      I wrote a letter to the airline about this and they replied in a positive manner and apologized.
       
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    22. dellwas

      dellwas Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concussion or ETD
      I agree it would bring about better awareness, but I seriously doubt it will sway a judge if indeed a law was broken unless he/she sees it as extenuating circumstances. May be worth a shot though.

       
    23. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      What often happens in traffic court in Canada is that the police officers don't show up and then one gets to win automatically.
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Eric N

      Eric N Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal QC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012, 03/2016, 05/2017, 05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + 3 major increases via (shouting / MRI/ flu+Tylenol)
      I might give this a try just for the experience of it, I never contested a ticket before, but If I am found guilty I could pay an extra $95. Is there any risk of my license being revoked If I say I have issues driving without hearing protection? What if they ask how long have you been doing this for?
       
    25. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      It must be a Quebec thing.
      That hasn't occurred to me. I had a knee jerk reaction of always contesting tickets, as even if your officer shows up to court, he or she would then talk to you before the court begins and offer to reduce the amount of the ticket in exchange for not going through with the court.

      You might consider saying that "you feel better/safer" with muffs on, as there is a lower chance that your T will get louder later in the day. Never say that having T (or having to drive without muffs) interferes with your ability to drive. You could even say that this is how you had been feeling the day you got the ticket and say that your T is gone now (on the day of the court which won't be for another 4-12 months). You are not trying to get the judge to give you a right to drive with muffs on, you are trying to reduce the amount of the ticket.

      Alternatively, if you are worried that they could get you to get a doctor's note to Keep your driver's license, you might want to pay the fine and be done with it. That $95 extra is reducing the payoff associated with going to court.
       
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Eric N

      Eric N Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal QC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012, 03/2016, 05/2017, 05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + 3 major increases via (shouting / MRI/ flu+Tylenol)
      Chances are there are going to be microphones in the courtroom. Might not be worth the risk of going.
       
    27. dellwas

      dellwas Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concussion or ETD
      Popular misconception. It depends on the Province. For example, here in Nova Scotia adjournments are usually done, or an alternate officer can attend to provide case notes under oath if the orignal officer can not appear. In any case it IS NOT an automatic win. Plenty of sources online to dispel the automatic win, here is but one: http://www.roadwarriors.ca/myth_officer_missing

       
    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Eric N

      Eric N Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal QC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012, 03/2016, 05/2017, 05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + 3 major increases via (shouting / MRI/ flu+Tylenol)
      Ended up paying it, honestly this is such an insignificant problem when seen in the context of my predicament
       
      • Like Like x 1
    29. dellwas

      dellwas Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concussion or ETD
      Good point Eric...

       
    30. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      In 1990s my dad got an automatic win in Ontario when the police officer didn't show up. I think it happened twice. Perhaps they changed the system since that time.

      Several years ago, I got a ticket, the police officer showed up to court and offered to reduce the ticket amount if I were to not insist on a court hearing.
       

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