I am all for banning cell-phone use while driving. What I didn’t think about is that legislation banning cell-phone use might also outlaw mobile amateur radio operation. Legislation is in the works in Georgia, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming. If you live in those states you might want to find out about them.
Over and above that, be careful out there! I haven’t heard of any incidents where an amateur radio operator caused an accident or could not avoid one because he or she was distracted by his or her mobile operation, but the danger is real……..Dan
From the February 16, 2007 ARRL News:
Bills aimed at thwarting “driving while cellular” and “driving while distracted” behavior have been introduced in several states, and most are worded broadly enough to potentially proscribe some Amateur Radio mobile operation. ARRL Regulatory Information Specialist Dan Henderson, N1ND , so far has catalogued 11 active pieces of legislation. Bills introduced in Montana and New Mexico have been sidelined for now, but related measures — more than one in some states — remain alive in Georgia, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming. Henderson reports that ARRL Field Organization volunteers and members called the League’s attention to the various pieces of pending legislation, none of which specifically exempt Amateur Radio mobile operation.
“In most cases we try to work to have language exempting Amateur Radio inserted into the bill, rather than narrowing by definition the behavior or activity the bill seeks to address,” Henderson explains. “It is a far easier approach and removes ambiguity down the road.”
Henderson says that, if requested, the League will advise radio amateurs preparing to testify about a bill before a state legislative committee. “We offer some suggestions regarding what to cover and how to approach their testimony,” he said. “We also will speak with legislators or their aides to try and clarify questions or help them craft language that help accomplish our goal of specifically exempting Amateur Radio operation from these measures.” Most of the measures include exceptions for emergency communication and law enforcement agencies.
[[Details about individual bills deleted.]]
Henderson advises ARRL members to contact their Section Manager