Ottawa

Cyclists listening to music a danger:police

Ottawa police are warning people about the dangers of cycling while listening to music.

Ottawa police are warning people about the dangers of cycling while listening to music.

Police say more and more people riding bikes on city streets are wearing headphones.

Ottawa commuter Patrick Forsythe says he listens to rock music on his ride into work.

"I get bored easily, I guess. While I'm biking I like to listen to music, I have it on a really low volume, so I can still hear what's going on around me," Forsythe said.

"It's quite a big safety issue, simply because you can't hear what's going on around you. Your attention is distracted," said Const. Chris Cochrane, part of the Ottawa Police Service's cycle patrol.

 While police caution against it, they say it's not illegal.

However, in cities like Vancouver and San Diego it's against the law to have both headphones on while cycling.

Const. Chuck Benoit believes a similar law would help in Ottawa.

"It would be effective. It would reduce some incidents or accidents that do occur," Benoit said.

For now, police say, if cyclists do decide to listen to music, keep the volume low.

But cyclist Andrew Smith thinks that's a bad idea.

"I think it's stupid because you can't hear the traffic around you. When you're biking you have to be very conscious of what you're doing," he said.

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