Echolink and cell phone laws?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KD2AFV, Nov 13, 2018.

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  1. KD2AFV

    KD2AFV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here's a thought I had
    In NJ there is a cellphone law that states the driver of a moving vehicle is prohibited from using any electronic device unless it's a hands free device. Now there is an exception to this law for amateur radio, we (licensed amateur radio operators) are not included in the electronic device law when we are operating an amateur radio.

    My question is, what if I was using my phone, but I was using echolink. A program that essentially turns my cell phone into an amateur radio transceiver. Where would the law stand on such a unique situation?

    On one hand I am using my phone in a non hands free matter. But I am also using it as my amateur radio, which the law states is an exception to the cell phone law.
    W4RAV likes this.
  2. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    A conundrum best left sleeping....
    KD4MOJ, N5PZJ, W4IOA and 1 other person like this.
  3. W8LPN

    W8LPN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most likely it would still be considered using a cell phone. Best not to chance it. Or what I do is run my phone through the bluetooth of the truck and can run it almost hands free.
    W4RAV and KY5U like this.
  4. N5PAR

    N5PAR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Since I'm not a lawyer I have not idea about the legality of doing what you are talking about. If you are stopped my law enforcement for using your cell phone while driving I doubt he/she would understand the concept of, "yes I'm talking on my phone but I'm really talking through a amateur radio application so it ok." Yea, they will buy that.
    N0TZU and WD4IGX like this.
  5. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    They give you a ticket and then you can explain the possible exemption in front of the Judge.

    If you think a police officer is going to stand there listening to your interpretation and somehow sort out all the individual various technicalities and potential exemptions of every law, you're in for a big surprise.

    Remember, you don't argue the case with the police, you argue your point in a courtroom.

    And just because there may be an exemption in the law doesn't mean you won't get stopped and/or given a ticket.

    Personally, I wouldn't give them any reason to pull me over and issue a ticket regardless what the law might otherwise say.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
    WN1MB, AB6RF, N2EY and 6 others like this.
  6. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    NJ MV code 39:4-97.3 (in part says)
    "For the purposes of this section, an electronic communication device shall not include an amateur radio."

    Is your cell phone an amateur radio ?
    KU4X, N5PAR, KA0HCP and 1 other person like this.
  7. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    What does the exemption actually say?
  8. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oops. Answered above.
    K3XR likes this.
  9. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, I think the answer really is that simple. The law talks about the device being used by the driver, not the service being used by the device.
    N0TZU, KC1HLU, KU4X and 2 others like this.
  10. KD2AFV

    KD2AFV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The way I look at it when I have echolink open, my phone is a radio. With the app open I cannot text or call or us any other phone function besides the radio app.

    Interesting part is there are valid arguments to be had for both sides. I'm not willing to put it to the test though.

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