City Backpedals on Plan to Ban Earplugs for Bicyclists
Law Director Kevin Butler said that the administration needs more time to consider the measure.
The city of Lakewood is postponing a proposal that would keep bicyclists from wearing headphones while riding in Lakewood.
Lakewood ordinances prohibit motorists from wearing headphones while driving, but the law on the books doesn’t apply to bicyclists.
City officials are considering a measure that could change that.
The original plan was to introduce the ordinance to city council at Monday night’s scheduled meeting.
But Kevin Butler, the city’s law director, said the administration needs more time to consider the proposal.
“We need to get more background,” he said. “We’re looking for more input from the bike folks and police department."
“We just want to learn more.”
Ashley Belzer, the city’s assistant prosecutor and assistant law director, said Monday that the proposed ordinance would require bicyclists to pull out an earplug to focus more on traffic.
However, bicyclists would still be allowed to keep one earplug in.
“Police officers have been seeing (bicyclists) more and more often wearing earplugs in both ears,” she said. “On bicycles, people sometimes don’t follow traffic laws as they would if they were in a car. People get a little more lax on bicycles.”
According to the original plan, the new law would make the first offense a minor misdemeanor, punishable with up to a $150 fine. A second offense committed within one year of the first, would become a fourth-degree misdemeanor.