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Author Topic: Talking while driving still legal?  (Read 9170 times)
W7ETA
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« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2009, 10:57:16 PM »

Be kind now Lon.

73
Bob
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2009, 03:16:03 PM »

The ARRL just issued this policy statement

http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/02/03/10609/?nc=1


ARRL Executive Committee Issues Mobile Amateur Radio Operation Policy Statement (Feb 3, 2009) -- On January 30, at the instruction of the Board of Directors at its January 2009 meeting, the ARRL Executive Committee adopted a policy statement on mobile Amateur Radio operations. The statement addresses the growing number of proposed state and local laws and ordinances regulating the use of cellular telephone and text messaging, inadvertently affecting Amateur Radio mobile communications.

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KC8JRV
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« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2009, 02:18:11 PM »

Can we get a master list of all the stations that already have this ban in place... and how many have something pending?
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« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2009, 12:25:17 PM »

Engaging in a phone conversation on a mobile device while driving distracts the brain and delays reaction times, experts said. Drivers are more likely to swerve between lanes, slow down and miss important signs.

"When you're on a call, even if both hands are on the wheel, your head is in the call," said Janet Froetscher, president of the National Safety Council, which in January urged legislators in all 50 states to pass laws prohibiting motorists from using cell phone devices.

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KG4WXP
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« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2010, 07:35:35 PM »

<< I would contend that no state's law can make something illegal that my federally issued license specifically says IS legal, >>

While you hold a federally-issued amateur radio license, there is nothing in Part 97 that gives you immunity from your state's motor vehicle laws concerning the operation of your vehicle, or specifically guarantees you the "right" to operate mobile-in-motion.

We may not like it, but laws banning talking on "communications devices" including ham radios, are legal.

Yes, your state CAN ban you from talking on your ham radio while you are operating a motor vehicle in motion.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut

Um no.

Use of amateur radio gear is a LICENSED SERVICE, controlled by the FCC. NOT the state or local government. Same thing with the FCC ruling that the governments of states and cities can't keep an amateur from having an antenna due to zoning and other ordinances. If you're a local government, you dont mess with the feds, otherwise you're liable to end up getting your butt handed to you in tons of fines and court costs. Dont believe me? When there's a criminal case and the FBI decides to get involved, the local sherriff has to get the heck out of the way and there isnt a thing they can do...the Federal Government is the be all end all of what goes in the country, NOT the states.
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K6LCS
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« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2010, 04:32:14 PM »

Most states in the U.S. still have a vehicle code section that allows you to be ticketed for "driving while encumbered" or distracted. I mean, even if you are using a Bluetooth headset per the law, if it is shown that you are distracted from driving safely due to a telephone conversation, you can still be cited.

Just use common sense. Drive safely. And do not draw attention to yourself.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
909-241-7666
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
W3LK
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« Reply #36 on: October 02, 2010, 05:13:07 PM »


Um no.

Use of amateur radio gear is a LICENSED SERVICE, controlled by the FCC. NOT the state or local government. Same thing with the FCC ruling that the governments of states and cities can't keep an amateur from having an antenna due to zoning and other ordinances. If you're a local government, you dont mess with the feds, otherwise you're liable to end up getting your butt handed to you in tons of fines and court costs. Dont believe me? When there's a criminal case and the FBI decides to get involved, the local sherriff has to get the heck out of the way and there isnt a thing they can do...the Federal Government is the be all end all of what goes in the country, NOT the states.

Boy, are you in for a big surprise. States and communities can and do, on a regular basis, put restrictions on tower and antenna structures. PRB-1 (what you are referring to) is ONLY applicable if the particular state has adopted it. Without it, the Feds won't do a thing. No PRB-1 and no Federal law broken. Even then it refers to reasonable accommodation.

As for talking in the vehicle, there is NO federal law that says this must be allowed. States are free to disallow it if they so desire and the FCC does NOT get involved.

I don't know where you are getting your information, but it's wrong and there are hundreds of enforced laws on the books in many states and communities to prove that.
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N2EY
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« Reply #37 on: October 02, 2010, 07:33:19 PM »


Um no.

Use of amateur radio gear is a LICENSED SERVICE, controlled by the FCC. NOT the state or local government. Same thing with the FCC ruling that the governments of states and cities can't keep an amateur from having an antenna due to zoning and other ordinances. If you're a local government, you dont mess with the feds, otherwise you're liable to end up getting your butt handed to you in tons of fines and court costs. Dont believe me? When there's a criminal case and the FBI decides to get involved, the local sherriff has to get the heck out of the way and there isnt a thing they can do...the Federal Government is the be all end all of what goes in the country, NOT the states.

Boy, are you in for a big surprise. States and communities can and do, on a regular basis, put restrictions on tower and antenna structures.

You're both right.

The local and state governments can't prevent you from having an *antenna*. They can, however, regulate a *structure*. Big difference.

The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, gives only the Feds the right to regulate radio. The intent is to prevent other levels of government from issuing licenses, allocating frequencies, etc. This is justified by the fact that radio, by its very nature, does not respect state or local boundaries.

However, when you put up a *structure*, the zoning and other folks have an interest that it be a safe structure, and in reasonable accordance with the location.
 
PRB-1 (what you are referring to) is ONLY applicable if the particular state has adopted it. Without it, the Feds won't do a thing. No PRB-1 and no Federal law broken. Even then it refers to reasonable accommodation.

As for talking in the vehicle, there is NO federal law that says this must be allowed. States are free to disallow it if they so desire and the FCC does NOT get involved.

Correct on both counts. The states issue driver's licenses and register vehicles, and have motor vehicle laws. IIRC, all states honor the licenses and registrations of other states.

Different states can and do have very different MV laws, though. Some states require safety inspection of vehicles, periodic retesting of drivers after a certain age, mandatory insurance, etc. - and others do not.

---

What I think would be really neat is for the states to offer an endorsement on one's license for cell phone use. Here's how it would work:

A driver would have to pass a test in which they had to drive a test course, and then drive it again while talking on a cell phone at the same time. Their performance would be evaluated in both cases, and any significant impairment noted.

So if somebody really could drive and talk on the cell without it being a problem, they'd prove it and be licensed to do so.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KB8UAQ
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« Reply #38 on: October 02, 2010, 08:12:07 PM »

<< I would contend that no state's law can make something illegal that my federally issued license specifically says IS legal, >>

While you hold a federally-issued amateur radio license, there is nothing in Part 97 that gives you immunity from your state's motor vehicle laws concerning the operation of your vehicle, or specifically guarantees you the "right" to operate mobile-in-motion.

We may not like it, but laws banning talking on "communications devices" including ham radios, are legal.

Yes, your state CAN ban you from talking on your ham radio while you are operating a motor vehicle in motion.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut

In addition to what W3LK said, I believe it's also the legal doctrine that driving is a privilege, not a right. A privilege granted by the state, that can be revoked at the state's pleasure. So, for example, in the State of Ohio, if you are pulled over by any officer of the law (sherriff, police, state highway patrol, etc), and they request you to take a breathalyzer test, or to draw blood,  you have a 5th ammendment right to refuse to provide evidence against yourself, HOWEVER, you automatically lose your license for 1 year or something along those lines. That's how the federal(constitutional 5th ammendment, in this case)/state issue is balanced with regards to driving.

So, without that evidence the State may or may not successfully convince a jury to find you guilty of DUI/DWI, but you lose the license because the state can revoke your license for any reason it wants. If you think you can avoid jail by losing your license, then maybe you decide that's a fair trade.

Also, it's important to note that the law doesn't really restrict your use of the radio. It restricts your use of your *vehicle*. You may not legally *operate the vehicle* in those States while talking on a communications device. So, you wouldn't be going to jail or getting fined for talking on the radio, you'd be going to jail or being fined for operating the vehicle in a manner which violates State law.

EDIT: Corrected typo, "matter" to "manner".
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 06:07:59 AM by Jeff Schmidt » Logged
N2EY
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Posts: 3894




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« Reply #39 on: October 02, 2010, 08:32:10 PM »


In addition to what W3LK said, I believe it's also the legal doctrine that driving is a privilege, not a right.

You are correct, sir!

Operating an amateur radio station is a privilege, not a right, too.


 A privilege granted by the state, that can be revoked at the state's pleasure. So, for example, in the State of Ohio, if you are pulled over by any officer of the law (sherriff, police, state highway patrol, etc), and they request you to take a breathalyzer test, or to draw blood,  you have a 5th ammendment right to refuse to provide evidence against yourself, HOWEVER, you automatically lose your license for 1 year or something along those lines. That's how the federal(constitutional 5th ammendment, in this case)/state issue is balanced with regards to driving.

So, without that evidence the State may or may not successfully convince a jury to find you guilty of DUI/DWI, but you lose the license because the state can revoke your license for any reason it wants. If you think you can avoid jail by losing your license, then maybe you decide that's a fair trade..

IANAL, but I think it actually works a bit differently than that.

When you apply for a license, be it to drive a motor vehicle or to operate an amateur radio station, one of the things you agree to in the fine print is to do certain things as a condition of grant of the license. If you don't, the license can be revoked.

IOW the government can't revoke a license for no reason, nor for any reason it wants. But if you refuse to do what you agreed to do as a condition of grant, you've given them a legal reason to revoke or suspend the license.

For example, when you apply for an amateur radio license, you agree to allow FCC officials to inspect the station when in operation, and at certain other times. So if you're on the air and FCC comes to the door, you have to let them in to inspect your station, even if they don't have a search warrant, because you gave them permission when you applied for the license. If you refuse, they can pull your license.

Also, it's important to note that the law doesn't really restrict your use of the radio. It restricts your use of your *vehicle*. You may not legally *operate the vehicle* in those States while talking on a communications device. So, you wouldn't be going to jail or getting fined for talking on the radio, you'd be going to jail or being fined for operating the vehicle in a matter which violates State law.

WOW! That's an EXCELLENT point! And it makes perfect sense, as well as common sense.

Thanks - I'll remember that one.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KC8OYE
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« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2010, 10:37:51 PM »

Some Bozo in Texas (Chente Quintanilla) has introduced a bill to double fines if your talking on the radio while you commit a traffic violation.  He has also included conversing with a passenger, drinking, eating, personal hygiene and a myriad of other nonsense.
http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/81R/billtext/html/HB00738I.htm

Some Bozo?  I think that's the most sensible piece of legislation yet.. It doesn't need to outlaw the activity, but if the activity contributes to an infraction then it deserves attention.
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KC8OYE
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« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2010, 10:46:30 PM »

as for the person who doesn't think talking on the phone is dangerous... you obviously haven't spent much time driving around people who do talk on the phone.

I've lost count of the number of times I've been nearly taken out by someone who couldn't be bothered to look over their shoulder before pulling out because that would mean they would have to move their elbow which was holding their cell phone to their ear.

but THEN.. they can put the phone down to roll the window down and give me a universal hand gesture for using my horn at them.. go figure.
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W3LK
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« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2010, 12:42:06 PM »

Quote
Also, it's important to note that the law doesn't really restrict your use of the radio. It restricts your use of your *vehicle*. You may not legally *operate the vehicle* in those States while talking on a communications device. So, you wouldn't be going to jail or getting fined for talking on the radio, you'd be going to jail or being fined for operating the vehicle in a manner which violates State law.

That's the best explanation I have ever read!
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KB1GMX
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« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2010, 01:36:50 PM »

It's real simple..  Above all else drive he car.   If driving conditions demand it drop
the mic and drive.   However, do pull over when time comes to find where it slid off to.

With that.. In MA we just had new texting law added to overwrite the driving distracted laws.
One more law in the nanny state to confuse the issue.

Allison
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N2EY
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« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2010, 01:48:25 PM »

In MA we just had new texting law added to overwrite the driving distracted laws.
One more law in the nanny state to confuse the issue.

When people don't have the common sense not to text and drive, maybe they need a bit of nannying.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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