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Mobile Handheld Device/Amateur Radio Laws by State?

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by W3TPL, Dec 27, 2016.

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  1. W3TPL

    W3TPL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    With the plethora of handsfree laws in effect around the country, I've found it fairly difficult to find a resource for all these laws, and how they pertain to operating a mobile amateur radio in each state.

    I've found a few references for amateur radio in New Jersey's hands free laws for example states that amateur radio is exempt from the law (emphasis is mine):

    That being said, is there a resource out there that spells out the laws state by state? I know there are rescues for concealed carry permit holders, for example, but I haven't seen one for amateur radio.

    I'd like to have a reference to bring with me in case I do get pulled over for a handheld devise. Chances are a patrol officer might not be with the amateur radio exemption in NJ for example
  2. AC0GV

    AC0GV Ham Member QRZ Page

    A SMALL (chopped up) part of Wisconsin law about phones in construction areas.
    Inattentive driving.
    No person while driving a motor vehicle may be engaged or occupied with an activity, other than
    driving the vehicle, that interferes or reasonably appears to interfere with the person's ability to drive
    the vehicle safely.
    (a) No person may drive, as defined in s.
    343.305 (1) (b)
    , any motor vehicle while composing or
    sending an electronic text message or an electronic mail message.
    (b) This subsection does not apply to any of the following:

    3. An amateur radio operator who holds a valid amateur radio operator's license issued by the federal
    communications commission when he or she is using dedicated amateur radio 2-way radio
    communication equipment and observing proper amateur radio operating procedures.
  3. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Interesting question, hope someone has a source. Maybe the ARRL?

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  4. W3TPL

    W3TPL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Worth me writing an email to find out. Thanks for that idea!
  5. N2PQW

    N2PQW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hope you can post some results, or at least a source for the info.

    I suspect it will get more complicated; I'm aware of at least 3 municipalities / cities that have enacted their own statutes, where no state-wide law exits. I assume there's many more across the country.

    David / N2PQW
  6. K6CPO

    K6CPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    A search of "distracted driving laws by state" produces a wealth of information.

    One thing to be aware of is that laws may be changing with the new year. California's cell phone law becomes more restrictive on January 1st and us 6-land hams are a little concerned.
  7. AD5KO

    AD5KO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a speaker mic for my portable radio. I think using it while driving is safe, talking into a portable radio not so much because it can hinder vision. And in court the argument would be that law enforcement and many other services use microphones while driving and it's perfectly safe, I say this because it can come down to the individual who makes the traffic stop, as you pointed out in regard to the Patrol Officer.

    If someone was using a microphone at an inappropriate time I would have given them a ticket not because they were using a mic but because they were not giving the road their full attention when needed.

    If I got a ticket for using a speaker mic while driving I would fight it.



    I should learn to spell.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  8. NC5P

    NC5P Ham Member QRZ Page

  9. W3TPL

    W3TPL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have sent an email to Dan Henderson, N1ND at the ARRL Regulatory and Advocacy team to see if there is any sort of resource for this. I will share if this is something they can provide.
    N2PQW likes this.
  10. W3TPL

    W3TPL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have searched this, and some laws that specifically exclude licensed amateur radio operators, and some don't. Some make neither mention. I'd rather have a legal mind compile something for me to trust rather than personally relying on my translation of legalese after two semesters of business law.

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