Hams Face New Rules on Ontario Roadways

If you live in Iowa, the item below might not be real interesting, but here in Michigan, we’re just a short car ride away from Canada….Dan

From the 10/8/09 ARRL Letter:

The Ministry of Transportation in Ontario, Canada announced on September 30 that Bill 118 concerning distracted driving will take effect on October 26, 2009. According to Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) Vice President for Public Relations Peter West, VE3HG, the new law makes it illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or e-mail using handheld cell phones and other handheld communications and entertainment devices. Following a three-month period that begins October 26 where the focus will be on educating drivers, police will start issuing tickets on February 1, 2010. “All two-way radios in all vehicles — with the exception of emergency responding vehicles — must be hands-free in three years’ time,” he posted on the RAC’s blog. “This news comes from the official government staffer who has been in communications with Radio Amateurs of Canada over the last year. At the end of the three-year exemption, all commercial, CB and Amateur Radio equipment used in moving vehicles by the vehicle operator must be hands-free in operation.”

Comments

  1. David Brodbeck N8SRE says:

    I think this is a little bit silly — studies have shown that it’s the distraction that’s the problem, not having a hand occupied, and cell phone users tend to go in for much longer “ragchews” than most mobile operators.

    Still, there was a QST article recently that showed interfacing a Bluetooth headset to an HF rig, and it got me thinking. I drive a manual-shift car, and juggling a hand mic and the shifter can be a problem at times. VOX isn’t a good idea for repeater operations, so I’d still need a PTT, but a button attached to the shift lever would be one fairly easy solution. There was another article a while back where someone made a wireless PTT using a small garage door opener transmitter attached to the steering wheel.

    I have yet to put something like this together, but it doesn’t seem like a major challenge. If this law does go into effect I imagine we’ll start seeing pre-packaged solutions, too.

  2. Is there any real research that suggests this will have a significant benefit?

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