Yes, that sign just told you to rip an ear bud out

State Police and the state Department of Transportation are using electronic signboards to get people with ear buds to take one out - so they can hear that ambulance coming up behind them and not risk getting a ticket:

The use of only one earpiece is acceptable under current Massachusetts law. Frankly, there is no legitimate reason for an operator to be wearing both headphones while driving. The campaign is to inform the public that wearing both headphones or “ear buds” is unnecessary and unlawful. This is a primary offense allowing police to stop and cite motorists when they’re observed to be wearing both pieces in their ears while operating a motor vehicle.



Free tagging: 


    As someone who is on the road

    most days of the week, I can honestly say I see more people texting than I see wearing headphones.

    And as someone who was almost killed by a texting driver, I always say something or give them the look and point at my phone when I see texting.

    To a one, everyone I've ever pointed out their illegal texting have either given me the finger or told me to mind my own business and fuck off.

    So there's that.


    We had one of those, and we spent like $20 on the gizmo that plugs into the ipod and then tells you what frequency to tune into to get what the ipod is playing on your speakers.

    Cheaper than a good set of ear buds.

    Then we bought a new radio that does bluetooth and ipod and charges things, too.

    We tried that - two different

    We tried that - two different units. It was horrible - unless you like listening to lots of static. And the Prius radio is not easily changed. So now I ride or drive around with my ipod on my lap, cable draped around the back of my neck, and one earbud in, listening to podcasts.

    It does make for a rather antisocial car, when there's more than one person, with each listening to his/her own entertainment.


    '07 base Prius owner here - no aux jack (but I do have two sockets for running phone rechargers, and I can't tell you how useful that is - mainly because I've never tried to use both at once). Dunno about the current ugly Prii, but on the middle-aged, thing-of-true-beauty models (the ones that started in '04), you have to buy one of the higher-trim models to get that.

    Latest Radio Ratings Provide An Answer

    The comment "who listens to the radio these days?" comes up on this blog from time to time. The Arbitron ratings for Boston came out a few days ago, and since they're proprietary and very often the sources of this information require registration, I will only relay these figures: the number one station in the market has a cumulative audience (called the "cume") of 1.5 million listeners. Arbitron describes the market as having about 4 million residents. There are many residents who NEVER listen to this station, and they become part of the "cume" for other stations. So much more than one-quarter of the people in Greater Boston listen to the radio; actually much greater, but that would require more digging into the data.