Radios for Commuters: FM? Shortwave? Scanners?

Does anyone please know anything about high quality, battery or DC powered radios which, where legal, could be used with headphones while driving?

In addition to listening to bit of news or FM on my morning commute, what is the latest technology for weather? Police, fire and emergency?

I would like to be able to monitor traffic jams, police reports etc if possible.

Is this a normal radio? "Shortwave" radio? "Scanner" with radio?

Are there any small, high end devices? Any info on uses these things, models and/or manufacturers greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
are you planning to have your mobile fax and cell phone plugged in, too? i wouldn't wish your driving anywhere close to the route by which i commute. headphones in any car are a stupid idea. just as they are on bicycles or any other vehicle expected to make way for emergency vehicles.

great to hear from you and thanks for your concern. (And dont worry, my next thread will not be asking to hook up an X-Box fax machine and satellite TV.)

The subject of safety with headphones has been hotly debated in another one of my recent threads.

In this case, I am commuting on a motorcycle which presents a different set of issues. The "headphones" in question are custom designed , silicone ear pieces which then go over etymotics headphones.

Like ear plugs, they reduce ambient noise to a non hearing damaging level, but can then accept an input - in this case, beeps from a radar detector, and possibly the radio in question.

As long as it is not too loud, I feel that my awareness of my surroundings is not terribly compromised.

With nothing in my ears, the mere wind and engine noise from the bike are almost as loud as my geeked out setup, but it is a totally different kind of noise with the added problem of causing fatigue and discomfort which is also potentially unsafe.

So not trying to do anything stupid and would still appreciate any advice on portable radios.

Best wishes

It is not only the noise/or sound, it is the fact that you would be concentrating on the content, and not the driving. That is why cell phones are being banned, not because they are difficult to operate, but because people become distracted even with hands free operations.

That being said, many radios come with a weather band, but, these broadcasts have a lot more detail than you probably need. Otherwise, why not a cheap am/fm; you can most always find traffic reports every 10 min.

"cell phones are being banned"?

So far, not where I live?!

Yesterday, I will admit that I was listening at background level as mentioned above, but was amazed to see the following:

- countless people using HANDHELD cellphones with heads cocked to one side, despite new laws in New York, new signs warning of the new law and ready availability of hands free devices, headsets etc

- a few people juggling drinks, food, coffee etc while driving and

- never seen this one before, but while steering with what appeared to be her WRISTS and driving about 20 MPH in stop and go traffic on the FDR drive, a lady in a Lexus READING A BOOK, centered conveniently on her steering wheel.

So in an ideal world, I agree that we should BAN or impose harsh fines for:

eating and drinking
DVD players and video screens other than maybe in kids seats

loose objects in the cabin of cars
drivers who fail ongoing safety and/or health tests

etc etc


a pair of headphones on a motorcycle is NOT the problem.
Bikes - 33.4 deaths/100mm miles
Cars - 1.5 deaths/100mm miles

Why make the odds worse ? Totally up to you of course.

Plus, with all the interference in NYC, unless you are listening to a powerful station, it will not come in well. Still reccomend a cheap am/fm, most drive time DJ's (except Stern) give traffic/weather updates avery 15 min.