California AB-1785 signed - Bans Ham Radio Usage in Vehicle

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K6ZOO, Oct 27, 2016.

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  1. N1EN

    N1EN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't have the link handy, but if you search back in some of my older posts, I relayed a link to a study that tried to assess the relative distractiveness of different activities undertaken while driving.

    That study put talking on a two-way radio as roughly half-as-distracting as talking on a handheld cell phone. But it put talking on a hands-free cell phone as very slightly less distracting as talking on a two-way radio.

    I don't think it's a simplex/duplex thing. I think it's a "holding something to your face" thing.
  2. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the report also mentioned " EOTR " Eyes Off The Road as well... the most obvious distraction I think.
  3. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    There's 10 kinds of people, those that know binary, and those that don't.
    W7UUU and N1EN like this.
  4. N2IPH

    N2IPH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Maybe if it was worded better AND you were smart enough to watch out for yourselves
    when this was written as was done in NJ you wouldn't be whining about this now.

    Notice how the NJ law specifically exempts certain radio services. I guess your representatives don't care about your votes enough to look out for you when it comes to writing these laws.

    An Act concerning the use of wireless telephones and electronic communication devices in motor vehicles and amending P.L.2003, c.310.

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

    1. Section 1 of P.L.2003, c.310 (C.39:4-97.3) is amended to read as follows:

    1. a. The use of a wireless telephone or electronic communication device by an operator of a moving motor vehicle on a public road or highway shall be unlawful except when the telephone is a hands-free wireless telephone or the electronic communication device is used hands-free, provided that its placement does not interfere with the operation of federally required safety equipment and the operator exercises a high degree of caution in the operation of the motor vehicle. For the purposes of this section, an "electronic communication device" shall not include an amateur radio.

    Nothing in P.L.2003, c.310 (C.39:4-97.3 et seq.) shall apply to the use of a citizen's band radio or two-way radio by an operator of a moving commercial motor vehicle or authorized emergency vehicle on a public road or highway.

    b. The operator of a motor vehicle may use a hand-held wireless telephone while driving with one hand on the steering wheel only if:

    (1) The operator has reason to fear for his life or safety, or believes that a criminal act may be perpetrated against himself or another person; or

    (2) The operator is using the telephone to report to appropriate authorities a fire, a traffic accident, a serious road hazard or medical or hazardous materials emergency, or to report the operator of another motor vehicle who is driving in a reckless, careless or otherwise unsafe manner or who appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A hand-held wireless telephone user's telephone records or the testimony or written statements from appropriate authorities receiving such calls shall be deemed sufficient evidence of the existence of all lawful calls made under this paragraph.

    As used in this act:

    "Citizen's band radio" means a mobile communication device designed to allow for the transmission and receipt of radio communications on frequencies allocated for citizen's band radio service use.

    "Hands-free wireless telephone" means a mobile telephone that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such mobile telephone, by which a user engages in a conversation without the use of either hand; provided, however, this definition shall not preclude the use of either hand to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the telephone.

    "Two-way radio" means two-way communications equipment that uses VHF frequencies approved by the Federal Communications Commission.

    "Use" of a wireless telephone or electronic communication device shall include, but not be limited to, talking or listening to another person on the telephone, text messaging, or sending an electronic message via the wireless telephone or electronic communication device.
    Full text here:
  5. KM4SM

    KM4SM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are not required to take an exam, and provided with a federal license to watch TV and/or talk on your cellphone?! I wouldn't put it passed lawmakers to add these laws to the books before my lifetime is over!

  6. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The test should be 25 WPM texting while driving without looking at the phone.
  7. K7VV

    K7VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Think there has been a great over reaction to this legislation. California traffic code 23123.5 defines what a 'electronic wireless communications device' is, and it is clearly NOT a two-way radio. The prohibition only aimed at text messaging by phone, and has nothing whatever to do with ham radio. On top of which, amateur radio is a Federally regulated service, and the states know very well the problem of trying to pass a state law that contravenes Federal law and regulation.
  8. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Houston TX recently passed a law, But they claim to only be giving warnings, Until people learn about the new law.

    People are not driving a telephone booth, Like many think they are.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
    KG7VTO likes this.
  9. WA6VPS

    WA6VPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    $20 fine is actually ~$160ish after court fees - it's like a seatbelt ticket the base starts low then they throw in all the other crap. The real question will be how private industry reacts to this. Tow Trucks, Taxi cabs and other 'non-emergency' personnel. Personally I think every time the cops ask for a tow the tow truck operator should just ignore the call on their 2-way now, they were already enroute elsewhere and needed to 'keep their eyes on the road' :)
  10. WA6VPS

    WA6VPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    False. The prohibition is aimed at any wireless device, texting and talking. From the OP

    (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or an electronic wireless communications device unless the wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, and it is used in that manner while driving. See also

    For reference, here is the old law:

    (c) For purposes of this section, a person shall not be deemed to be writing, reading, or sending a text-based communication if the person reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name in an electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call or if a person otherwise activates or deactivates a feature or function on an electronic wireless communications device. - See more at:

    The legislature explicitly repealed the entire section instead of amending it, they specifically left out the exemption of placing/receiving calls or activating & deactivating features on 'an electronic wireless communication device.', and they explicitly defined the term to INCLUDED, but not LIMITed to, a specialized mobile radio device -- even if we can't agree " a specialized mobile radio device" includes ham/CB/2-way radio, the broad definition is NOT limited to 'a specialized mobile radio' and thus can include any 'wireless communication device' which surely would include 2-way radios, which by the ordinary and plain meaning of the words are both electronic, wireless and a communications device. If the legislature did not intend to prohibit such usage they could have made a very more narrow definition of the term, and/or added an exemption as they have in other statutes.

    Edit: It may also be of interest that 2-way radio push-to-talk WAS specifically exempted, and may be argued, that since it's repeal in 2011, has been considered illegal since that date, and this new statute fills the gaps in any ambiguity that it wasn't.

    A person when using a digital two-way radio that utilizes a wireless telephone that operates by depressing a push-to-talk feature and does not require immediate proximity to the ear of the user, and the person is driving one of the following vehicles, that requires either a commercial class A or class B driver's license to operate (subd. (e)(1)): A motor truck, as defined in V.C. § 410; A truck tractor, as defined in V.C. § 655 (Subd. (e)(1)(A)) The exemption under subparagraph (A) does not apply to a person driving a pickup truck, as defined in V.C. § 471. (Subd. (e)(1)(B)) An implement of husbandry that is listed or described V.C. §§ 36000 et seq., in Chapter 1 of Division 16. (Subd. (e)(2)) A farm vehicle that is exempt from registration and displays an identification plate as specified in V.C. § 5014 and is listed in V.C. § 36101. (Subd. (e)(3)) A commercial vehicle, as defined in V.C. § 260, that is registered to a farmer and driven by the farmer or an employee of the farmer, and is used in conducting commercial agricultural operations, including, but not limited to, transporting agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to, or from, a farm. (Subd. (e)(4)) A tow truck, as defined in V.C. § 615. (Subd. (e)(5)) (Note: Subd. (e) is deleted as of 7/1/2011.) This section also does not apply to: A person driving a schoolbus or transit vehicle that is subject to V.C. § 23125. (Subd. (f)) A person while driving a motor vehicle on private property. (Subd. (g)) This section is operative as of July 1, 2008, and shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2011, and, as of July 1, 2011, is repealed. (Subd. (h))
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017

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