Like I said earlier, let's ban DRIVING. Let's ban......................everything! The whole thing comes down to what DOES cause distracted driving and what does NOT. The mere use of a two way radio has but a minute affect on driving--about the same as turning up the volume on your FM radio. Even if using the traditional dials and buttons. I just heard from Laura Smith this morning who is forwarding my email to the Wireless Bureau again today. "Quote" Amateur Radio and "Distracted Driving" Priority: Normal Date: Monday, May 14, 2018 7:22 AM Size: 17 KB I was out on Friday and did not see this until this morning. I will send this to the appropriate person in the Wireless Bureau. Laura -----Original Message----- From: jwalker...................com Sent: Friday, May 11, 2018 5:07 PM To: Laura Smith <Laura.Smith@fcc.gov> Subject: Amateur Radio and "Distracted Driving" Dear Ms. Smith In recent years local jurisdictions have been dealing with the issue of cell phones and distracted driving. In doing so, they have often "lumped" amateur radio in with their local/state laws. They apparently believe they have the ability to enforce restrictions upon licensed amateurs and can write tickets because the police so much as see a antenna upon a vehicle. This is even if the amateur is NOT using his radio, and sometimes police view the presence of said antenna as a threat. I wrote FCC both in January and, not receiving a response, I wrote once again to the Licensing Bureau upon your advice. To date, I have been ignored. My purpose in writing was 1) alert FCC that this local "enforcement" was either happening, or ABOUT to happen pending legislation, 2) to question whether the state has the right to restrict, "enforce", or punish amateurs for using their lawfully licensed radios up to and including MOBILE amateur radios. Some states, upon the advice and assistance of ARRL, have included exemptions for amateur radio. Others' ordinances are somewhat vague and *might* result in ticketing of licensed amateurs due to confusion and misinterpetation of such laws. I question states' authority to enforce "distracted driving" laws on amateurs for several reasons. First of all, there is a huge technical difference in the way the two devices operate. Mainly, that two way radios are "SIMPLEX" and cellphones are "DUPLEX". This means the two way radio sends information IN to the user ONE WAY. The user then responds, again ONE WAY, back to the sender. The cell phone sends AND receives info ALL AT THE SAME TIME. IMHO, this is what almost DEMANDS the user become immersed in the phone and involuntarily compels the user to become directly involved in the activity IMMEDIATELY. Thus, "Distracted Driving". The two way radio does no such thing and crashes are almost non-existent. Studies have shown there is little to NO impact on driving attributable to the use of a two way radio. I also point out that during the CB craze of the late 70's there were THOUSANDS of CB radios installed in cars and trucks. Cell phones didn't exist then. IF "distracted driving" was to become an issue BECAUSE of a "radio", WHERE was the "distracted driving" THEN? There WERE no cell phones then. So HOW can you now say, after 70 years of various mobile two radios, that two way radios are PART of distracted driving? They are NOT! It IS the CELL PHONE that is the culprit here. If some device is to be "punished" for an activity, then let's punish that which is causing the problem, NOT the innocents! I next question states' right to restrict mobile amateur radio because of FCC's regulatory and traditionally SOLE authority over LICENSED two radios (and over other Parts of Title 47 applicable to each service). States may not now govern interference FROM amateur stations on their own regulatory authority and must contact FCC for same. Two way radios, commercial, CB, amateur have always been governed by FCC. The stations' authority to operate comes directly FROM FCC (Direct licensure); cell phone users are CONTRACT devices whereby the server holds the license from FCC and generally sets rules for their use. In the case of amateur stations, not only has mobile amateur operation been authorized, it has been encouraged by FCC for 70 years. At this time, I would like to call your attention to FCC Docket 91-36, a friend of the court Brief filed on behalf of amateurs in what became known as "the Scanner Law Case". States passed laws prohibiting ANY mobile receiver that "scans" OR is capable of receiving police frequencies. (What they are scared of, I don't know). Cops were writing tickets to duly licensed amateurs and SEIZING their equipment. FCC responded by filing this referenced Brief. In this Brief, there are some very clear comments on FCC's and Congress' intent that, again, MOBILE amateur radio was part of our emergency infrastructure, and that restrictions on such were frowned upon. I quote briefly, "....................We believe that the strong federal interest in supporting the emergency services provided by amateurs cannot be fully accomplished unless amateur operators are free to own and operate their stations to the fullest extent permitted by their licenses and are not unreasonably hampered in their ability to transport their radio transmitting stations across state and local boundaries for purposes of transmitting and receiving on authorized frequencies." "........................., the Commission has expressly amended its rules to facilitate and encourage unrestricted mobile amateur operations as we noted in a recent rule making proceeding to modify the rules governing the amateur radio service,.................." I would encourage you to read this Brief further. As I understand it, it makes NO bones about the Federal interest in furthering the use of amateur radio (as well as other Part-governed services. To now cause LICENSED amateurs who volunteer untold hours to public service to be "punished" for an activity that is NOT causing the actual problem is simply wrong and will neither accomplish the goals of the Federal Government OR that of the state. IOW, restricting amateur radios will not impact distracted driving either way because its impact on a driver's attention is already minute. Such could have an unintended result on emergency services in that it could cause amateurs to become angry and NOT respond to emergencies in states who have such onerous laws. It is further HYPOCRITICAL to ask amateurs to come help during a state disaster in one breath, then TICKET them for using their radios in the other. There are other consequences that the states may not foresee. For example, there are stations who are not governed by FCC, rather by NTIA. I speak specifically about the Civil Air Patrol, the Auxiliary of the US Air Force. Their volunteers often respond to disasters and USAF-authorized emergency missions. Let's say, a CAP volunteer responds to a call-out and to a factual mission #. He may, or may NOT be in uniform. Bubba cop sees this vehicle with an antenna and/or someone talking on a "device", stops him and issues him a ticket for "distracted driving". I don't know about others, but I know what *I* would do. I would haul the state/city AND Mr. Cop personally into Federal court on charges of interfering with an actual USAF, military mission. This is only what *could* happen if such bad, but well-meaning laws were to be passed. I am ASKING for a Declaratory Ruling FOR amateur radio as well as ALL license radio services that such local laws shall be null and void, OR that Federal exemptions be placed for licensed services and that any such action BY a state (law, ordinance, etc) could only be enacted with PROOF by the state that such radio services ARE contributing to distracted driving and ONLY with approval and advice of FCC regarding these directly licensed services. I ask you to help me get this in front of the right people at FCC and I, again ask for this Declaratory Ruling. Regards, Jerry Oxendine Gastonia, NC ARS K4KWH " You may think me a kook, but I am very alarmed at the prospects of such laws and what impact it may have on our hobby in the future. If the states get their "foot" in the door, then what other bad laws will they come up with to our detriment?