Motorcycle intercoms: legal or illegal?
This is what you should know Much has been said about the legality of Bluetooth intercoms on motorcycles. The issue of their use has been debated for years, generating a lot of confusion between opinions and consequences. The problem is that until now the law was ambiguous, i.e., a law enforcement officer could interpret that wearing an intercom on the helmet compromised road safety, leading to a fine of up to 200 € and the withdrawal of three points from the driver's license. But thanks to a ruling in Madrid on the use of the intercom on the motorcycle opens a new path to its use. With the rectification of the Traffic Law, this long fight that bikers and associations have been fighting for more than seven years comes to an end. A fight that had only one goal, to put an end to fines for the use of intercoms on motorcycle helmets. So, are intercoms legal? Yes, motorcycle bluetooth intercoms are legal, useful and benefit our safety. These electronic devices allow us to listen to music, radio, make and receive calls and communicate with our passenger or other motorcyclists. They have become, in recent years, an essential element for motorcyclists. Until recently, this is what the Highway Code stipulated regarding communication devices, detailed in its article 11.3: "It is forbidden to drive using helmets or headphones connected to sound receiving or reproducing devices, except during the performance of open-circuit aptitude tests for obtaining a driving license under the conditions to be determined by regulation. The use of mobile telephone devices and any other means or system of communication while driving is forbidden, except when the communication is carried out without using hands or helmets, headphones or similar instruments. Exempted from this prohibition are the agents of the authority in the exercise of the functions entrusted to them. Other exceptions to the prohibitions provided for in the preceding paragraphs may be established by regulation." In favor of the penultimate paragraph, the penalties for carrying this device should not be carried out as it is NOT any kind of headset that covers our ears, but a loudspeaker that allows us to hear the ambient sound at all times. A fact that was taken into account by the DGT. Do intercoms have to be approved? In December 2021 an update of the Law on Traffic, Circulation of Motor Vehicles and Road Safety was announced in which the use of the motorcycle intercom is allowed if it is properly approved with the current European regulations. The new Traffic Law states that: "the use of certified or homologated wireless devices will be authorized for use in the protective helmet of motorcycle and moped drivers, for communication or navigation purposes, as long as it does not affect driving safety". In other words, the motorcycle intercom can only be used for these purposes, avoiding others such as listening to music and/or the radio. Another important fact is that the motorcycle intercom must be approved with this standard and with that of the helmet where it is installed. At MimaTuMoto you will only find approved helmets and intercoms to guarantee your safety. So you can be fined for wearing an intercom? The new Traffic Law of March 2022 says the following to the relation of motorcycle intercom use: "now, if you have a motorcycle or moped, you can use certified or approved wireless devices on your protective helmet for communication or navigation purposes." Thus, the motorcycle intercom can be used as long as it is not manipulated while riding. That said, keep in mind that based on the free interpretation of the law, you can be fined even without manipulation by an agent who interprets that your speakers are "similar instruments" to a headset or helmet. But it is also true that, thanks to this ruling, another way is opened for those who have already been fined to appeal their sentences with guarantees. Advice on how to choose an intercom The quality You should pay attention to the autonomy (battery life), resistance (to dirt and humidity) and that it has quality components that ensure its durability. Functionality There are more and more models and brands that allow operation by voice recognition commands. They become hands-free devices, like the one you can use in your car. Approved helmets If you are looking for a type of helmet for this purpose, it must ensure that it complies thoroughly with the legislation in force. In this way, there will no longer be any possibility of being fined or penalized. At MimaTuMoto we have helmets that are compatible with the Caberg intercom. Conclusion Therefore, communicating while driving is possible and if you choose the right device it is currently legal because the law does not explicitly prohibit them. You just have to make sure that you have all the approved elements to avoid any kind of sanction or fine.