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Distracted Driving in Ontario

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by G4TUT, Apr 19, 2012.

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  1. G4TUT

    G4TUT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Distracted Driving in Ontario

    On April 16 the MTO posted a regulatory notice proposing a change to Ontario Regulation # 366/09 (Display Screens and Hand-Held Devices) that would extend the current exemption for licenced amateur radio operators for an additional five years.

    As you know, the exemption was due to expire at the end of this calendar year, and Radio Amateurs of Canada has been lobbying for a permanent exemption since this regulation was introduced back in 2009.

    We will be providing comments to the Road User Safety Branch of MTO on this issue and will continue to press for a permanent exemption. That said, a 5-year extension is certainly welcome at this point but is not the ultimate resolution that we have been seeking.

    The only other group to obtain an extension are commercial, public transit, and public function drivers.

    You can view the notice in the provincial registry at:

    RAC and the Distracted Driving Committee wishes to thank all organisations that supplied letters of support to assist us in obtaining this extension. This shows the support we have from many Ontario organisations.

    Bill Unger VE3XT
    North/East Ontario Regional Director
    Chair - RAC Distracted Driving Committee
    Radio Amateurs of Canada

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  2. K0HZI

    K0HZI QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Re: Distracted Driving

    Today April 19, 2012 police in Minnesota will be on the watch for drivers using cell phones while driving and stop and issue a ticket, no warning tickets!
  3. W4RAV

    W4RAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Although I appreciate the ability to operate my radio while driving, I think they can be just as distracting as a cell-phone.

    Other than emergencies, which hardly need permission, rigs are just as complicated as a mobile phone and I think shouldn't be exempt. You have to look further away than your phone, have a DTMF on the mic, have at least as many buttons to push, and although ham radio doesn't require putting up the mic to your ear, the volume can be just as distracting as any stereo in the car.

    There's plenty to compare that a radio is no safer than a cell-phone, so why do we ask for exceptions to the rule? As a whole, we're certainly no better than any cell-phone user while driving.

    (Besides, do you REALLY need to operate your radio any more than you do your phone while driving?)
  4. KC8VCX

    KC8VCX Ham Member QRZ Page

    does this ban apply to other types of mobile/portable radios? ...11meter (CB), FRS, business or government bands? So many of these laws are popping up to address mobile phones, but are painted with too broad a brush.

    Frank, it's true that modern rigs can be pretty complicated, but at least for me, I keep my mobile pre-tuned to the local repeater, so my operation while driving is never more than keying the mic or maybe occasionally adjusting the volume, neither operation requires me to take my eyes off the road.

    Don, KC8VCX
  5. W4RAV

    W4RAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Neither does answering my cell-phone, even w/o hands-free, but I think the distraction they worry about is more in the head than in the device one uses.
  6. VA3CQC

    VA3CQC Ham Member QRZ Page

    YEAH. Operating mobile is one-third (the other two being base station and HT/portable) the fun of amateur radio!
  7. NW9M

    NW9M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are Gov't and municipal employees exempt from this regulation? For example, are police officers forbidden from making phone calls and using radios while moving? If they are, do they receive any special training? If they do, why is this training not available to ordinary citizens?

    There appears to be this trend to simply prohibit things and then think up exemptions usually for groups with influence instead of coming up with new procedures that everyone has to follow. Of course that expects the population to actually learn something new as an entire group, so it can be argued that it is an unrealistic expectation.
  8. N1GHI

    N1GHI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Id have to agree with Don, If your operating your ham radio mobile most hams just have there radio set to one channel and leave it there as i do and just use a mic which by the way is not like answering a cell phone even with hands free cell phones you still have an ear piece on blocking your ears from sounds around you, or you can use speaker phone which there are very well made blue tooth speaker speakers made now so you dont have to have your ears blocked. You talking about being distracted in my state there even saying talking to your passenger is just as distracting then being on a cell phone, But hasnt ham radio been around alot longer then cell phones ? I dont know about anyone else but i never heard of anyone running there car into a grocery store by using there mic like i have seen people do being on there cell phones.
    I think it boils down to common sense while driving, if you know your in an area that needs your attention then we should pay attention to the road a little more, and i think most hams do that at least thats what i hear on the radio around around here, most hams know if they need to pay attention then they put the mic down till they can use it again.
  9. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here we go again.

    I salute the efforts of all of those here on the Zed who want to take over my mother's job. thanks for reminding me not to run with scissors. Thanks for being my conscience since I'm obviously too immature and depraved to consider the possible consequences of my actions.

    But, seriously, there is no evidence that two way radios contribute to traffic accidents, and lots of evidence to the contrary. Two way radios have been in use since the 1930's - about 80 years - and nobody has ever complained about them creating a safety issue. People using cellphones, however, seem to be oblivious to the world around them. I won't operate a cellphone while driving - I hate it when the thing rings and I'm behind the wheel. I usually answer the phone and tell the caller I will call them back when I get off the road. I find even that much to be a significant distraction.

    When you come upon some idiot driving like a moron, that's not a ham rig in hand. I was going to say 'his hand' but I've observed at least as many female idiots as males doing this. It seems that whenever I encounter really bad driving these days, there is a cellphone involved.

    But, on the other hand, the ham rig doesn't have that effect. As hams, we're used to missing bits of the conversation during a QSO, and most of us aren't afraid to say "...what was that?" to fill in the blanks. Ham conversations are not related to business, and usually not related to family, and hence, not as high on the scale of importance. We've learned to ignore the radio when something more important is going on, the same way we ignore the broadcast radio.
  10. N1GHI

    N1GHI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was told in my state by state trooper that yes Gov't municipals are exempt from this regulation and are supposed to be only using there phone for emergency's , but they still should be making an example for the public which i dont see them doing they still use there phones to chit chat with whom ever while driving. I just shake my head when i see that.
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