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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. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I could never get my scanner to transmit. :D
  2. W3TPL

    W3TPL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Me neither :)
  3. K6CPO

    K6CPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is the statute that just went into effect in California. At least one traffic court judge in San Diego, (who is also a licensed ham) has said that essentially this law precludes the use of a typical mobile microphone. He also said that law enforcement has stated they will write citations if the see someone using a hand-held microphone.

    (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.

    (b) This section shall not apply to manufacturer-installed systems that are embedded in the vehicle.

    (c) A handheld wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device may be operated in a manner requiring the use of the driver’s hand while the driver is operating the vehicle only if both of the following conditions are satisfied:

    (1) The handheld wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is mounted on a vehicle’s windshield in the same manner a portable Global Positioning System (GPS) is mounted pursuant to paragraph (12) of subdivision (b) of Section 26708 or is mounted on or affixed to a vehicle’s dashboard or center console in a manner that does not hinder the driver’s view of the road.

    (2) The driver’s hand is used to activate or deactivate a feature or function of the handheld wireless telephone or wireless communications device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger.

    (d) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.

    (e) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using an electronic wireless communications device while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.

    (f) For the purposes of this section, “electronic wireless communications device” includes, but is not limited to, a broadband personal communication device, a specialized mobile radio device, a handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, a pager, or a two-way messaging device.

    (Repealed and added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 660, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2017.)

    Hopefully, the league can do something about this.
  4. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Obviously you are skipping over the pertinent parts, in order to remain within your position. WE aer not talking about Verizon or consumer electronics" we are talking about TWO WAY RADIO and who governs it. The parts of 91-36 that are most notable are as follows, and do not mince words. Yes, yes, yes, I am fully aware that it applied to the state scanner laws of that time. But FCC's position, I believe, in regard to the value and contributions of the amateur service has not changed. Forgive me, your post, one can only conclude you have not read 91-36. It is upon these parts that I would stand in a court of law in determining whether the state or the FCC can tell me what I can do with my federally licensed station.

    ".......This federal interest in the amateur service is reflected in Section 97.1 of our rules, 47 CFR 97.1, which provides that the amateur service 'exists to contribute to the advancement of the radio art'.............................
    This strong federal interest in the preservation and advancement of the amateur service is also demonstrated by Congress' recent recognition of the goals of the amateur service in a Sense of Congress provision in which Congress strongly encouraged and supported the amateur service. Congress then directed all agencies to take into account the valuable contributions of amateurs when considering actions affecting the amateur service! WE BELIEVE THAT THE STRONG FEDERAL INTEREST IN SUPPORTING THE EMERGENCY SERVICES OF THE AMATEUR SERVICE CANNOT BE ACCOMPLISHED UNLESS AMATEUR OPERATORS ARE FREE TO OWN AND OPERATE *TO THE FULLEST EXTENT* PERMITTED BY THEIR LICENSES AND ARE NOT UNREASONABLY HAMPERED I N THEIR ABILITY TO TRANSPORT THEIR ******* STATIONS ACROSS STATE AND LOCAL BOUNDARIES FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRANSMITTING AND RECEIVING ON AUTHORIZED FREQUENCIES."


    It goes on farther, but I have included this part where FCC has stated IN COURT that it believes that amateurs should be able to transport and operate their amateur stations TO THE FULLEST EXTENT permitted by their license. This implies transmitting while IN MOTION, and not being unreasonably hampered in their ability to do so. ONE portion of 91-36 specifically mentions and encourages the use of MOBILE amateur radio. If you can't USE the damn thing, then what good is it? Next thing to bring forth in court would be to have the state provide evidence that distracted driving has been cause singularly and specifically by the use of a microphone. I'm gonna betcha they can't prove that, but that the overwhelming evidence is that such distraction is caused by other devices such as a cellphone--which is what has brought on this crap to start with.

    Now as to NTIA operations. This is separate and distinct from FCC's oversight of radio operations as we know them. When it comes down to it, NTIA can exert strong influence over FCC. NTIA is government and US military communications. NTIA-governed agencies are under NO obligation whatsoever to a states's bubba laws where it applies to radio. When, for example, certain "civilians" are operating under Federal Orders or military orders, OR a bonafide mission number, your little state, including California, can go jump. And often, what you may call "civilians", are conducting Federal business while mobile. Just because they may not be wearing a uniform at just a certain moment does not mean that they are now subject to state oversight when it comes to radio useage. Violating state vehicle laws, speeding, et al, yes. But not when merely using a radio while mobile.

    Therefore, this needs to be cleared up NOW, not later. We need a definitive ruling on just how far the state can go when governing two way radio. IOW, whether the use of a mike is "distracted driving" or not, and to what degree (IMHO, its almost microscopic), and whether the state can preempt that which has been endorsed and encouraged by the FEDS for 60 years. This "distracted driving" thing is a recent problem that occurred when the cellphone became so prolific. There is no reason to punish that which is not guilty, and Americans should not continue to stand for moronic regulations that do NOT solve anything. Restricting mobile radio does not solve, nor is it "guilty" of it! :mad:
  5. W3TPL

    W3TPL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    And these are the things that I'm hoping to dig up... essentially illegal to do something we all assume is okay. A real shame to find that this is explicitly unlawful as per section (f) For the purposes of this section, “electronic wireless communications device” includes, but is not limited to...a specialized mobile radio device...
  6. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    And this specifically goes against US law. That last paragraph *may* be the trap we may be able to spring. No need to rehash, and I am not a lawyer, but this thing has so many things and so many violations of US law that it even seems obvious to a layman. ARRL needs to get involved immediately. I smell blood!:confused::)
  7. N4OMF

    N4OMF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am also intersted in this matter so I will be watching for any responses. I do have one thought to add. If I am licensed to operate a specific motor vehicle in my home state I am legal to operate that vehicle in all states and Canada since there are reciprocity laws to cover this issue. This means that when I drive my 40 ft motorhome with air brakes all that is required is that I am in compliance with the laws of the state in which it is registered. I have seen this in actual operation when I drove in Alaska (I am from Georgia). This leads me to the question, Do I need to learn the laws of each state with regards to microphone/radio/telephone use or will I be OK if I am following the laws of the state in which I am registered? If such reciprocity exists then this would be a much more easily manageable problem. Has anyone looked into this angle?
  8. K6CPO

    K6CPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think what galls me the most about the recent change in the law in California is that I can drive down the road holding a hamburger, but i can't talk on the microphone of a mobile radio.
  9. AI6AK

    AI6AK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep, you can hold the burger and drive. Just don't talk to it at the same time.
  10. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, you CAN talk on a microphone in California. I talked to Sacramento CHP, and, according to them, no one is going to go after your radio. Its the cellphones and texting they are after. And they seemed to acknowledge that they are aware that FCC controls two way radio, not the nanny states. So (for the time being), talk away. I DO, however, think this is something that should be headed off with a ruling from FCC beforehand before some single digit IQ legislator in some state somewhere attempts to ban any kind of "handheld device" in a car. I am betting they can't do it unless the Feds were to change the Fed laws!;)

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