A BBC poll has found nine in ten people support a ban on cyclist wearing headphones whilst riding, while one in six admit doing it.

The poll, part of a cycle safety series running this week on BBC Breakfast, found 89% of people would back a ban on wearing headphones whilst cycling due to the effects on concentration levels.

Research by Brunel University found listening to music reduces the amount of attention available by around 10%, making you less aware of potential risks around you.

One cyclist told the BBC: “I’m not actually listening to music. It’s if I get a phone call… I can hear you perfectly well with these.”

Another cyclist said: “It’s not the safest thing you can do when you’re cycling… It gets very boring if you’re commuting a long way in the morning and then again the afternoon, so you’ve got to live with it.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has previously spoken out about cyclist wearing headphones, saying he “would not be against” a ban on wearing headphones whilst cycling.

Some states in America have already put a ban in place for cyclists wearing headphones, such as Florida, where the law states: “A bicyclist may not wear a headset, headphone, or other listening device other than a hearing aid when riding.”

  • brazelephantman

    Deaf people….

  • brazelephantman

    unlike when drivers do things due to lapse of concentration or distractions in their killing machines. they should have music and hands free calls banned from the vehicle to save other road users!

  • brazelephantman

    what about electric cars then? i agree all arguments are equally applicable to those in control of motor vehicles, despite how those who love to blame cyclists for their demise would like to twist things.

  • Will

    I’m shocked when visiting London how many people cycle with headphones and dressed in black/charcoal colours. Cyclists can do a lot more to help themselves.
    On my usual cycle commute in Cornwall I always wear something bright and wouldn’t think of giving up one of my senses (hearing) by listening to music.
    The high number of fatalities is tragic, but it would be interesting to know what percentage were wearing bright clothes and weren’t using headphones.

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    I would never dream of cycling while listening to earphones but do people really want laws controlling every part of our daily lives? We should remember that even when cyclists do silly things they are only a significant danger to themselves.

  • carpog

    I personally don’t think cycling with headphones is a great idea. But I’m pretty sure if you asked the same people if in-car ‘entertainment’ systems should be banned, the number in favour would be way less than 90%.

  • Paul Bell

    What they should really do is concentrate on banning drivers from phoning, txting, reading, eating, smoking etc in their cars. Headphones on low is no worse than playing music in your car. Volume level is key, or even one ear in more dangerous places as necessary. Bikes don’t kill people, cars kill people.
    Lets face it we are all very intelligent beings and most accidents are due to peoples attitudes on how they “own” the road ….
    Paul from Canada eh!

  • Mark Jones

    If this is the case, then surely they should ban headphones in cars too? And what about all the thousands of drivers who still use their mobile phones while driving.

  • Phil Hall

    On returning to the UK, after living in Northern Italy for nearly a decade, I was disappointed to see so many people, be they walking, running or cycling, with their ears stuffed up. Apart from the obvious danger of not being able to fully engage with the world around you, it’s the auditory equivalent of having a dummy in your mouth. If cycling is too hard without your own personal sound track then you probably shouldn’t be doing it. If you must cycle to music, then go to a gym where it is nice and warm and you won’t be a danger to yourself or others. If you want to listen to music, stay home and give that music your undivided attention. The same applies to cycling. Your undivided attention is required and the only things that your ears should hear is the sound of yourself, your bike and the world around you. Anyone with an imagination and a memory can provide their own sound track.

  • Mr_K

    The report also said that only 16% of cyclists have ever tried it. It’s a non-issue and thus yet another diversionary piece of hogwash to perpetuate the myth of the the free-loading, lawless cyclist. Shame on the BBC for fanning the flames.

  • Andy Kennedy

    But if it was banned it would put many people off cycling. I would either ignore the ban or not bother cycling anymore. It seems that the authorities want to make everything ultra safe at the expense of anyone having any fun.

  • Peter Marlow

    I totally agree, but it seems to me that the BBC is once again trying to create an image of cyclists as irresponsible – that cycling is dangerous, and it’s the fault of cyclists.

  • Peter Marlow

    The BBC eh? Am I the only one to notice how many cleverly worded polls about cycling they keep coming up with? You couldn’t make it up!

  • Jimmy Currie

    I seen this experiment earlier on BBC news and I don’t think anyone wether driving or cycling should be listening to music through headphones, even walking down the street is bad enough when you have to cross roads and be aware of your surroundings!

  • Ian Whitfield

    To be perfectly honest…as a country bumpkin…. What’s the difference between listening to music on your bike and listening to music/ radio/ hands free in your car?