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hands free laws and ham radio

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by KC9TLP, Feb 17, 2011.

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  1. KC9TLP

    KC9TLP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Has anyone got any issues so far from this this where they are? I know in IL, we're supposed to have the ham radio plates as its written into the law. The fact the dmv took 30 minutes to look the paperwork up is bothersome to say the least. even with bluetooth radios out there(the yaesu ft-10m and 350 come to mind) its not really hands free anyways, and its quite expensive.
  2. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is the first mention I've seen that a state requires you to have ham plates in order to exercise the use of your radio in motion. Or that your radio must be 'hands free' mic. (except for Canada)
  3. KB1NXE

    KB1NXE Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    There was the Ham in New York that got nailed by a school cop and lost in court, but won on appeal.

    New Hampsha lets dumb people drive yacking on the phone. They figure God will sort em out...
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Do you have a reference to the IL statute on this?

    First time I've ever heard of a state "requiring" amateur radio license plates, for anybody.

    I've also never heard of a "hands free" statute that pertains to ham radio (or even CB) equipment. Here in CA, we've had the "hands free" regulation for a while, but it pertains to using telephones; 2-way radio gear is specifically exempted.
  5. NI7I

    NI7I Ham Member QRZ Page

    I havent heard of such a regulation (I dont believe that they are statutes) but I certainly would endorse such a rule. I dont believe hams are any better at multitasking than the average idiot on the highways.

  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You'd probably really hate riding along with me as I operate mobile CW at 40 wpm and drive on the freeway.

    I don't think I'm distracted at all.

    Been driving 43 years, operating mobile rigs for all of them. 1.3 million miles driven, zero accidents. Never even had a ticket (yet). Unless you count parking tickets. I won't count those.:p
  7. KC9LGW

    KC9LGW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is news to me, never heard of the law requiring ham plates and I'm from Illinois.
  8. KD0EIA

    KD0EIA Ham Member QRZ Page

    You know, I suppose CW is probably pretty safe, If you consider it a second language it really no different then just talking to someone in the car.
    Would that be correct?

    Russ KD0EIA
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    For me it's a lot easier than "phone" operation. No mike in your hand, no mike cord to get tangled up; and if passengers are chatting in the car, it's a mutual annoyance to work phone but CW is easy to separate from the voices, and I can copy it at very low volumes and not bother the passengers. It's also really easy to simply stop sending if I need my right hand for something more important, like driving! Just move hand from key paddle to steering wheel -- no need to put down a microphone or take other steps.

    For HF work if I operate mobile, it's almost always CW.

    As a mobile operator of any kind, you always have to be willing to put driving first and operating second. If the contact ends suddenly, that's the way it goes. I don't bother sending "73" if I need my attention on driving.

    It's easiest with open-road cruising, when watching signs, making sudden turns and dodging pedestrians and such just aren't required.
  10. K5RCD

    K5RCD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Gawd ! I would never try that.
    I'd spill my beer for sure. :eek:
  11. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm with Steve, mobile CW seems pretty safe. I've tried 2M few times and never felt good about operating with a mic. I've only been mobile for about 9 months now.

  12. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Beer? Hell, I don't even spill my martini unless I have to hit the brakes hard.
  13. W6TMI

    W6TMI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Radio, ham or CB tends to be un-engaging, like "hey, how's the weather" type stuff, "simplex", whereas telephone conversation tends to be more engaging, and "duplex".

    Except when the mike cord knocks my pizza down and it lands in my whiskey.
  14. K9ZMD

    K9ZMD Subscriber QRZ Page

    Steve, you really need to actually read the CA law. Let's not hang too much hope on the definition of "wireless telephone". Although, two way radio is simply not addressed, that is definitely not the same as "specifically exempted". The officer on the scene can decide that someone's fancy-schmancy ham radio seems pretty much the same as a wireless telephone & write it as such.

    More bad, the officer writes the ticket for distracted driving, leaving a ham with no leg to stand on at all.

    The very baddest, the ham is involved in an accident while playing radio. Subsequently, his expensive lawyer is trying to convince a civil court jury that operating ham radio equipment while driving had absolutely nothing at all to do with the accident . . . but the jury only remembers that just a "preponderance of evidence" is required for a thumbs down verdict.

    Hands-free is the way to go, whether cell phone or ham radio, and attentive driving means - as a minimum - don't play radio if there's a patrol car anywhere within sight.
  15. KC9TLP

    KC9TLP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found this mentioned only in chicago's ordinances with the ticket for using a HT as a "cellphone" that got tossed out in court. I haven't had any problems yet but that is mostly due to the fact i work late nights(11 pm normally) and not a lot of 2 meter activity at this time. Once i get the vhf/uhf/HF rig in the car though, i would rather be safe then sorry. Their has also been in this town, minor reports of the local cops harassing folks with scanners in their cars, but i take these with a grain of salt too. Normally the plates stop these problems cold:)
  16. N5MDT

    N5MDT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The only issue I have is why so many ham radio operators believe they are exempt from safety laws.

    Once a law is written I believe in the strict interpretation thereof, so if it does, in fact, exempt hams then so be it. If not, I have no problem with it.
  17. KC7VE

    KC7VE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why would you suppose ham radio operators are any different than any other citizen in the country. Just because one gets a ham license, doesn't automagically mean they are superior citizens.

    But regarding laws, what laws do you think they break? In WA, it's perfectly legal to use a radio while driving. Hell, you can even use a cell phone, held up to the mouth, using the speaker phone. You just can't hold it to your ear. Talk about a dumb law. Using a cell phone or radio is no more serious than looking at your radio to find a cool song to play. The problem with these laws, is they are written by idiots, who have no concern for safety. They are just trying to get political points by some demographic.

    Anyone here really think speeding cams are about safety? Or is it more likely they are about revenue?

    OH! And regarding not obeying laws... ever hear of the concept of "Civil disobedience"? If everyone always obeyed every law, everytime, without question, we'd still be speaking the King's English (vs. US English) ;)
  18. AD5MB

    AD5MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    when I'm driving the car, I'm driving the car. it's a full time job. I can't imagine trying to explain in court why i felt the need to communicate with a stranger in Palookastan while operating a multithousand pound vehicle on city streets in Albuquerque
  19. KF7GLF

    KF7GLF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I driven a lot of miles talking on a cell phone, talking on a cell phone with a bluetooth headset, and talking on the radio. In my opinion the cell phone alone is distracting, because of the need to hold it up your ear. A hands free headset is much better, I feel like I can concentrate on the road much easier with virtually no distraction.

    The radio is about the same. When I have time to talk, I talk. If I don't, I leave the mic where it lays until I'm not busy making a turn or negotiating traffic. If I need to concentrate on driving for a minute I've found other guys on the repeater are more than OK with the fact that I'm busy and to just wait. It's not uncommon to hear guys request the other side to hang tight for a few minutes until they get on the freeway or through heavy traffic. All said I don't think using a radio detracts from driving at all.
  20. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't think so.


    Amateur Radio Exempt from California's New 'Hands Free' Law:

    "On July 1, the State of California will have new laws on the books to deal with the use of wireless telephones while driving. There has been some confusion as to whether California amateurs who operate in their car will be affected by the new law. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's Web site, "the use of dedicated two-way radios such as walkie-talkies or Citizen Band (CB) radios is not affected by the new law" for drivers 18 or older."


    The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 10 March 14, 2008

    I'd be more than happy to test this, and I guarantee I'd win. But then, when operating mobile I'm not using a microphone (I work CW) so without a microphone in sight, an officer would have a really hard time proving what I was doing.
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