ARRL Executive Committee Adopts Mobile Amateur Radio Operation Policy:

ARRL Executive Committee Adopts Mobile Amateur Radio Operation Policy:

from The ARRL Letter on October 16, 2014


Add a comment about this article!

ARRL Executive Committee Adopts Mobile Amateur Radio Operation Policy:

The ARRL Executive Committee has adopted an updated Policy Statement on Amateur Radio mobile operation. While agreeing that driver inattention is a leading cause of auto accidents and that concern over driver distraction “is not unreasonable,” the policy cites Amateur Radio’s 70-year history of two-way mobile operation as evidence that such radio use does not contribute to driver inattention. The policy points out that Amateur Radio operation differs from cell phone communication, in part because the device need not be held to the face to listen, no text messaging is involved, and mobile ham operators only need to pick up a microphone to make “brief and infrequent” transmissions.

Prompting the policy update is the 2012 federal law “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” or MAP-21, which requires states to enact and enforce statutes that prohibit “texting through a personal wireless communications device while driving” in order to qualify for federal grants to support a state’s program. The League “encourages the use of the language in MAP-21 in state statutes and municipal ordinances dealing with mobile telephone and mobile text-messaging limitations,” the updated policy states.

Many states already have statutes in place that restrict the use of cell phones and other communication devices to a greater or lesser degree, and several exempt Amateur Radio. A lot of these laws predate MAP-21, however, and because MAP-21 permits no specific exception for Amateur Radio operation, some may need to be revised in order to comply with its requirements. The ARRL is urging states or localities to adopt motor vehicle codes that narrowly define the class of regulated devices, in order to exclude Amateur Radio specifically.

“Given the necessity of unrestricted mobile Amateur Radio communications in order for the benefits of Amateur Radio to the public to continue to be realized, ARRL urges state and municipal legislators considering restrictions on mobile cellular telephone operation and mobile text messaging to narrowly define the class of devices included in the regulation, so that the class includes only full-duplex wireless telephones and related hand-held or portable equipment,” the League policy recommends.

The ARRL policy suggests statutory language for state and local motor vehicle codes that defines a “personal wireless communications device” as one through which “commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services are transmitted.” This would include such devices as cell phones and anything used for text messaging or paging, but the suggested wording specifically excludes “two-way radio communications equipment, such as that used in the Amateur Radio Service.”

For states or localities considering banning all but hands-free cell phone use, the ARRL recommended wording that would prohibit the use of a personal wireless communications device “in any manner” while driving, unless the motorist is using hands-free capability. The suggested statutory language would not apply to anyone using the device while the vehicle is parked or “to contact or receive calls from an emergency response vehicle or agency.”

ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, addressed the issue in his November 2013 QST “It Seems to Us” editorial, “Distracted Driving Legislation: Proceed with Caution.” Read more


The ARRL Letter

There are no comments on this article: Post One

Email Subscription

My Subscriptions

Subscriptions Help

Other News Articles

DX News — ARRL DX Bulletin #42:

Just Ahead In Radiosport:

As Gonzalo Hits Category 4, Hurricane Watch Net Plans Extended Activation:

ARES Volunteers Stand Ready as Tropical Storm Ana Aims for Hawaii:

W1AW Centennial Operations are West Virginia and Nevada Bound:

via ARRL Executive Committee Adopts Mobile Amateur Radio Operation Policy:.


The ARRL Executive Committee has clarified its stand on mobile amateur radio operations.  The ARRL argues that amateur radio mobile operations should not be included in the distracted driving laws in most states because the operating protocols governing cell phones and amateur radio devices are different.  Several states, including my home state of Hawaii, exclude ham radio equipment from the restrictions imposed on non-licensed mobile communications devices.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

%d bloggers like this: