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Author Topic: Talking while driving still legal?  (Read 8142 times)
AA4PB
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« Reply #45 on: October 03, 2010, 01:57:39 PM »

What state has a law that prevents you from using a cell phone while driving???  I believe they only prescribe that you must use a "hands free" device. The same would apply to amateur radio. "Hands fee" doesn't necessarily mean a blue-tooth device. I was using "hands free" HF mobile in the 1960's by using a head worn mike and VOX.
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W5DXP
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« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2010, 04:33:47 AM »

I was using "hands free" HF mobile in the 1960's by using a head worn mike and VOX.

I tried VOX on my Harley Softail Custom but it didn't work.  Smiley
--
73, Cecil, w5dxp.com
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73, Cecil, www.w5dxp.com
The purpose of an antenna tuner is to increase the current through the radiation resistance at the antenna to the maximum available magnitude resulting in a radiated power of I2(RRAD) from the antenna.
KI4SDY
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« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2010, 06:23:18 AM »

It's legal in most states until you hit something. Then you would be charged with careless driving, if the officer finds out that your were using the radio when the collision occurred. It's best to make contacts when stopped at the red lights. If you get distracted there, the only thing you get is a horn blown from the guy behind you.  Shocked
« Last Edit: October 04, 2010, 07:55:35 AM by Guy "Vern" Wells » Logged
N2EY
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« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2010, 09:48:28 AM »

I was using "hands free" HF mobile in the 1960's by using a head worn mike and VOX.

I tried VOX on my Harley Softail Custom but it didn't work.  Smiley


What you had was HOX, not VOX, Cecil.....

-----

What really burns my bacon about the whole cell/text/etc. while driving is the circular-fashion nature of the whole mess.

For years (ever since about the early 1980s) we were told that we all had to learn to "multitask". Doing one thing at time and doing it well wasn't enough; we had to do several things at once.

Now it turns out that multitasking isn't such a great idea, and that what usually happens is that the things are done poorly and slowly. And sometimes dangerously.

So now we're being told to do one thing at a time, and focus on it.

I wish they'd figure these things out first.

73 de Jim, N2EY

"Hang up and drive"
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KB8UAQ
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« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2010, 02:35:20 PM »

For years (ever since about the early 1980s) we were told that we all had to learn to "multitask". Doing one thing at time and doing it well wasn't enough; we had to do several things at once.

Now it turns out that multitasking isn't such a great idea, and that what usually happens is that the things are done poorly and slowly. And sometimes dangerously.

So now we're being told to do one thing at a time, and focus on it.

To me, it comes down to commons sense - there's different driving conditions, and what you can do depends on the driving conditions. There's conditions I feel comfortable talking on my phone while driving (light traffic, well spaced, good visibility, dry roads, good line of site along sides of roads, no or very few cross streets - 'easy' driving conditions). There's other times where I'm not comfortable - there's too much other vehicle activity going on around me, cars entering traffic from too many possible points/intersections, poor weather, traffic flowing along 5 foot from each other's bumpers at 50+mph). Or there might be a temporary situation where I'm not comfortable driving and talking, like I realize I need to get over two lanes and get off at the next exit, etc.

I have absolutely no problem with putting the phone down and just driving for 30 second or a minute or whatever, till traffic is such that I'm comfortable driving again, or telling the person that conditions are changing, I'm driving, I'll call you back later.

Finally, when it comes to 'multitasking', sometimes when you are talking about something like driving and talking, you have to set some prioritization: driving is more important than talking, so you should be spending much more time looking at the road than at your cellphone - I'll only glance down at the phone for 1/2 second at a time, and only when I have plenty of room in front of my vehicle (like 4-5 seconds, at least, of reaction time, so that my glance down at the phone doesn't eat up all my reaction time - if someone slams their brakes in front of me or something, I still have about 3-4 seconds of reaction time), and when I glance up, I'll keep watching the road and evaluating traffic conditions for 3-5 seconds before looking down again for 1/2 second.

I also don't text while driving, in terms of trying to actually type any messages, though if I was in comfortable driving conditions, I might try to read a message from someone. If I need to respond, then I'll just pull over.

But, I think I have a bit of common sense which not everyone does. I'm afraid too many drivers let their 'main' focus go to the phone, and they end up with looking at the phone for several seconds and only glancing at the road for a second or two, or trying to interact with it in unsafe conditions.
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KA2UUP
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« Reply #50 on: October 05, 2010, 01:09:27 PM »

Yes, you can talk on the radio while driving.  The exemption of the law is required for switched communications devices, like a telephone where you have to dial. You don't use a switch for the radio, so it is exempt.

Be careful, though, some town, county and state government people write laws stupidly and then the laws are enforced stupidly, too.  So, while it should be a given that radio is exempt, you may want to be sure that is the case.

Good luck!

Bert @ KA2UUP
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W3LK
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« Reply #51 on: October 05, 2010, 06:15:39 PM »

Yes, you can talk on the radio while driving.  The exemption of the law is required for switched communications devices, like a telephone where you have to dial. You don't use a switch for the radio, so it is exempt.

Be careful, though, some town, county and state government people write laws stupidly and then the laws are enforced stupidly, too.  So, while it should be a given that radio is exempt, you may want to be sure that is the case.

Good luck!

Bert @ KA2UUP

I would love to see the actual citation on this "law". I doubt it's actual existence.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #52 on: October 06, 2010, 06:04:09 AM »

"I would love to see the actual citation on this "law". I doubt it's actual existence."

Especially since every state writes its own law...
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K0BG
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« Reply #53 on: October 06, 2010, 06:05:27 AM »

Since this thread started in January of 2009, a lot of things have changed drastically. Probably at the top of the list is the conclusions drawn about driver distraction, by whatever means, not just cellphones! Or amateur radio of that matter.

About all the various laws have done, is make the municipalities who enacted them a little richer. Although the statistics with respect to distraction from the various on-board devices have been skewed a bit, the actual final result is for all practical purposes, exactly the same!

It wasn't until the fed started looking at driver distraction did they discover that it was far-more crashworthy (excuse the pun) than drunk driving. Of recent years, we've added Navi units, CD and DVD players, and on-line articles explaining how to watch video while in motion. The stats ratio between drunk driving and distraction as the cause of crashes, aren't any different today than they were before the studies. Only the actual distraction device ratio has change.

And here's one which all you GM drivers should take heed of. On-Star—the ubiquitous hands-free mobile cellphone—rates near the top of the distraction list.

I'm of the opinion that all this "let's pass a law" reaction is just another fed knee-jerk, in response to bleeding heart mentality. God... don't we have enough of that already?
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AA4PB
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« Reply #54 on: October 06, 2010, 06:24:26 AM »

I don't know, Alan. The problem is that a distracted driver puts other drivers in danger through no fault of their own. Late one night in the 1970's a young driver was distracted by playing with his cassette tape, drifted across the center line, and hit my wife head on. She spent about 6 months in the hospital as a result.

As you say, today we have a lot more distractions available in the vehicles. It may be because I am getting older, but I find playing with an HF radio while in motion (other than simply monitoring a net) to be quite distracting so I stop somewhere if I want to play radio.
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K0BG
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« Reply #55 on: October 06, 2010, 07:16:10 AM »

My point was Bob, we can pass all of the laws we want, but that will not stop the distraction. Case in point. The MADD group has been influential in changing all manner of drunk driving laws, and punishment. They like to taut all of the deaths they've saved. The only problem is, most of the lives saved have been due to better built vehicles, seat belts, and SRS devices. In other words, legislation will never be able change human nature—it just changes the ratios.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #56 on: October 06, 2010, 08:05:58 AM »

No laws will ever be 100% effective because there will always be some who will not obey the laws. I think a case can be made however, that laws (such as drunk driving) do reduce the number of such instances because many people will obey the law. For example, I know of young people who like to go out and party who now ALWAYS designate a driver who will not have anything to drink. I doubt that they would do that if it wasn't for the threat of a DUI arrest. I also know of a couple (not so young) who didn't do that and wound up serving time for a while plus loosing their license.



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KA2UUP
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« Reply #57 on: October 06, 2010, 11:01:46 AM »

"I would love to see the actual citation on this "law". I doubt it's actual existence."

Especially since every state writes its own law...


Please, go to http://www.safeny.com/phon-ndx.htm#text and read what the law says.  This is a well-written law which defines what you can use and cannot use while driving in NY state, for example.  While some states and localities will write theie own laws, there are some where they will use the sledge hammer approach.  In that case, we cannot help it if the twon govermente will be stoooopid!!!

I opposed distracted driving.  However, please, someone let me know how the authorities will enforce this law.  I just heard on the radio this week that things might get more dangerous, with the drivers essentially putting the devices out of sight, making them take their eyes off the road for more than a few seconds.

While it is a dangerous thing to drive and text or dial on the phone, this is the type of law that probably will be applied to what I call tombstone safety.  The law will applied after the fact, the fact being an accident.  if you can catch the distrated driver before that, hey, more power to you!!!

Very warm regards,

Bert @ KA2UUP
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AD6KA
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« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2010, 11:37:45 AM »

Quote
Be careful, though, some town, county and state government people write laws stupidly and then the laws are enforced stupidly, too.  So, while it should be a given that radio is exempt, you may want to be sure that is the case.

A good point.
What it boils down to is that "the law" is whatever the
cop who stops you says it is, even if he's technically wrong.


If I got a "Distracted Driving" citation in a state where ham radios
are exempt, I would just smile, sign the ticket, and sort things out
later. No use arguing with a cop, just pisses 'em off and they
will walk around your vehicle looking for other things to cite
you for.

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AA4PB
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« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2010, 12:59:44 PM »

"Please, go to http://www.safeny.com/phon-ndx.htm#text and read what the law says."

I agree its well written, but it only applies in NY State as it is a NY State law. Some other states may choose to adopt the same wording in their laws, but it is not a Federal law that presently applies in every state.

There are some Federal laws that apply to Federal property like some military bases.
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