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Virginia senator wants to restrict amateur mobile more than CB

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KX4O, Jan 2, 2018.

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  1. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    That also goes to the premise that there ARE distractions in cars, no doubt. So to hear the nay-sayers tell it, we should also "ban" listening to the car radio, changing the station, adjusting the heater/AC, talking with other passengers in the car, correcting the children. ALL these things cause distraction to one degree another. So can operating a two way radio. However, the issue goes to the degree of distraction and at which point does that distraction cause a diminishing attention to driving the car, ultimately to said point where the operator is in danger of swerving, missing a curve, slowing well below the posted speed, impeding traffic. These things can be studied (and have been ) to tell us what things distract us while driving. Little attention has been paid to operating two way radios, getting only minor mention in what studies HAVE been done. It is my belief that the reason is because it has not had enough impact to merit such scrutiny: if it HAD, it would done so during the CB craze when it was almost not cool NOT to have a CB in the car. We have been engaging in all the above mentioned things ever since the automobile hit the road. Certainly, people DID have wrecks due to these things, but the thing that really brought "distracted driving" to the fore was the cell phone. So do we BAN talking to passengers? Listening to the FM radio? Shushing the restless children?

    A logical legislature-even a good parent-metes out discipline for specific infractions. Or passes laws/rules to address a problem. Both cases are because a problem has surfaced with driving (or within a family), and that infraction is something that causes harm to individuals or a group. So, we locate the source of the problem, attempt to isolate it, and deal out punishment as warranted. Because Johnny has committed a wrong, do we punish his sister as well simply because she is related to him? NO. And we shouldn't punish hams because a different, but similar, device is being used by the general public to cause danger.

    I once again must disagree. Brief 91-36 says a LOT about transmitting.

    . 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. Indeed, as a result of advances in technology making smaller,

    lighter weight radios commercially available, the Commission has expressly

    amended its rules to facilitate and encourage UNRESTRICTED mobile

    operations. (my italics) As we noted in a recent rule making proceeding to modify the rules

    governing the amateur radio service....................................................." (incomplete sentence is FCC's.)

    Now "mobile" implies mobile, "unrestricted" implies UN-restricted and, IMHO, includes transmitting. "Fullest extent permitted
    by their licenses" means, IMHO, fullest extent. Why? Cuz 91-36 SAYS SO!

    To accomplish FCC's purpose and intent for the Amateur Service, to continue its historical role in emergency services, amateurs must be able to transmit! What good does it do for a ham to see a forest fire and be restricted from transmitting a call to authorities or to issue a warning? He/she needs to be able to grab the mike and sing out RIGHT NOT!!!

    SO! if 91-36 spoke of transmitting, even THEN, is it not now still a legal point of law that stands until FCC makes a change on the law to address "distracted driving" and the impact of such restrictions on radio operators by states? Distracted driving was not an issue in 1989-'91. Given the law as it stands regarding Part 97, I believe it would have to be changed to allow states to restrict/enforce FCC rules regarding AR-even CB and commercial two way radio. The use of radio and TRANSMITTING equipment is certainly within the purview of the FCC. On that I agree wholly. I don't think Molly the Horse is "dead" yet! ;)
  2. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Absurd arguments only show indefensible positions
  3. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was only referring to the final ruling / conclusion.

    But. ... I ask this again. Imagine if someone is doing some amateur radio activity in a vehicle which is obviously distracting. Maybe they're silly enough to be trying to operate PSK31 with a laptop, reading text on the screen, watching the waterfall, typing a reply etc while they're also driving. Feel free to disagree but I'm guessing that even you would think that's a bad idea which shouldn't be allowed and would surely be a reasonable application of distracted driving laws.

    But ... you're trying to use this document to show that the FCC thinks that amateur radio activity should be UNRESTRICTED and implying that all amateur radio activity should be exempt from distracted driving laws. I suspect you might come back and say "I didn't say ALL amateur radio activity..." well ... fair enough but then you need to define what activity is and isn't safe. Many people seem to think that operation of a "normal" two way radio with a push to talk microphone is okay. I'm not arguing that it is or it isn't but I'm just pointing out that when simple logic is applied, it becomes clear you going on and on about how the FCC used the word UNRESTRICTED in that document is not helpful when it comes to distracted driving.

    You really need to define the physical activity. That draft Virginia law has basically already done that by allowing CB. Maybe whoever wrote it has only ever seen ham radio on a movie or TV and thinks it always involves wearing headphones and intense concentration.
    N2EY likes this.
  4. WZ7U

    WZ7U Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's as absurd as yours. Less so.
  5. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    If I had my way, yes! In such cases tho, it should also be obvious that any ultimate rules regarding ham radio would come thru some sort of compromise. It usually does. I would certainly hope that amateurs would have the good sense NOT to do those things (PSK31 and other types of electronic activity that requires more involvement than simply pushing a mike). I don't do that and wouldn't. I simply recognize, beyond the fact I have no interest in doing it mobile, that such activity, like the games and texting, would cause a hazard. One must have the good sense to make good decisions while driving. ................Like being in a QSO (mobile), encountering heavy traffic and signing off to concentrate more fully on driving. I've done that many a time (and used it as an excuse to get OUT ;) of a long, or boring QSO). Still, during normal driving, talking on a two way radios has minimal effect on driving--no more than changing a heater setting. You really would set up a PSK, RTTY, computer screen in your car and use it while driving. Oh....c'mon now!:p:D

    If CB radio gets an exemption, then WHY are we not getting the same courtesy? Why are they "picking" on US? WRT Virginia, I expect that the hams that live there will get this revised. However, we are going to be fighting this in all the remaining states at considerable expense to those affected, and perhaps, the ARRL legal team if WE don't stop it. Getting an FCC ruling would protect the mobile hobby, enhance emergency capabilities, and give uniform rule(s) and guidance to the states as to what they truly can do. Those who fire insults, engage in "nit-picking" and competitive statements in an attempt to ridicule.............well, I don't really care; I'm not here to compete.

    I believe what I believe until shown otherwise. And that belief is, FCC is factually and historically the sole governor of two way radio. Except when it comes to US Gov't and military. States can't restrict, issues rules, prevent the use of, enforce their own rules regarding Amateur Radio without FCC's input. The US laws would have to be changed to allow that. States CAN enforce "distracted driving" laws. They CAN enforce their own internal laws and regulations. That would be the distracted driving itself and the consumer devices that cause it. IF an amateur radio was shown to be a cause of an incident, an accident, then the cop could issue a ticket FOR driving distracted. If a licensed amateur is merely spotted talking on his mike, then there should be NO law restricting him from exercising the privileges of his license: It is a FEDERAL license--same as the cop's. It carries equal status. So if the ham drives in the ditch, causes an accident, then he certainly could be cited. It shouldn't be merely for exercising his rightful privileges!

    This is what I have asked FCC for: A Declaratory Ruling similar to 91-36 affirming 1) FCC's authority over our hobby, 2) our right to continue operating mobile radios as we have in the past until such time that Amateur Radio could be proven a true cause of "distracted driving" in and of itself. Right now, they (the states) are making inexpert, uninformed decisions and assumptions.

    FCC may turn me down: hams have been turned down before. But what harm can such a rule do? I see it as a positive thing that would allow us to continue as we always have, stifle unnecessary rules and regulation, prevent confusion, and provide stability nationwide for our hobby. Our country is already stagnated by far too many unnecessary laws, rules, and regulations that only puff up some politician so he can "think" he's doing something. Additional restrictions on amateur and licensed two way radio achieve nothing. Go after wha'ts causing the problem: cellphones, gaming and texting.
  6. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's a bit late then. You could apply that logic to any law. Why should a cop be able to give you a ticket for not stopping at a stop sign if no accident happened?

    Leaving aside for now the fact that the FCC has nothing to do with road safety ...

    You said yourself above that it would need a compromise. That implies that you're not asking the FCC to override all state distracted driving laws. You want to leave some leeway up to the states. How would you word that compromise? It would probably include some sort of wording like "except where the state considers such operation to be dangerous". If you don't have wording like that then you will get idiots doing silly things and waving this ruling around if they're challenged on it. But if you have wording like this then what have you gained? I think even OTARD has something about safety.

    That illustrates my point that you might as well just convince the states to describe what sort of operation is permitted and what's not. Texting on a phone is not, holding a hand held phone to your ear is not, hands free is, two way radio with a PTT microphone is. Nobody really cares if it's ham radio, CB or whatever.

    Asking the FCC to somehow make all amateur radio activity in a vehicle legal but with some sort of fuzzy "except if you're doing something really stupid" surely creates more problems than it solves.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
    N2EY and K7JEM like this.
  7. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
    N5PZJ likes this.
  8. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, its real simple,........... that which is not prohibited, is allowed
  9. VK5FPAC

    VK5FPAC Ham Member QRZ Page


    WG8Z likes this.
  10. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    And ending up with incompatible laws, all broken in different ways. What a mess.
    KX4O likes this.

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