Push to lift headphone ban in Colonial Heights

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) – It's illegal to walk, run or stand on any public street while using earphones in Colonial Heights. It's a law that could soon be lifted.

When Colin Ryan goes for a run music is a must.

"I use it to focus on my run it helps me a lot," said Ryan.

Ryan didn't know he was breaking the law until we told him. According to city code no person shall walk, run, or stand on any public street, sidewalk, or right-of-way while using earphones on or in both ears. Doing so could result in a ticket that could cost you up to $2,500 or jail time up to 12 months.

"I had no idea. No, didn't know," said Ryan.

Despite the law being on the books the Colonial Heights Police Department says it can't recall ever handing out a ticket for such a violation.

"We haven't been out looking for those incidents. There's a lot more to do in this city than worry about that. We haven't had any issues that has come to light to my knowledge," said Chief Jeffrey Faries.

The law was enacted for safety reasons. More than two decades later some city leaders are looking to repeal the measure.

"This is impractical for the times we live in today. So many people are running and walking and exercising - they have their iPods," said Faries.

A final decision will be made on whether to lift the ban next month. Meanwhile, Ryan says he'll continue to listen to music while running - taking precaution every step of the way.

"I don't turn it up that loud so I can hear cars coming past me. I can hear if someone is coming up on me," said Ryan.

If the measure is approved the law will be struck immediately.

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