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Old February 27th 07, 01:56 AM posted to
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Default New government rules mandating hands-free devices in vehicles

On 25 Feb 2007 13:18:31 -0500, "Richard Crowley"

A revision to the Code of Federal Regulations mandates that all
federal installations prohibit the use of cellular phones, PDAs, and
similar communication devices by persons operating motor vehicles,
unless used with a hands-free device.

Similar legislation (2 bills) pending in the state of Oregon.

The legislation is now dead in Oregon, thankfully.

As originally drafted, they would have prohibited all non-hands-free
two-way communication including those of amateur operators, The
description of the prohibited devices in the proposed bills was done
very inexpertly - some of us felt that it was done by a technically
-focused person trying to cover all the latest developments in digital
messaging used by consumers but who had no working knowledge of
real-world radio communications devices or techniques - and the
proposals gave rise to lots of adverse feelings in the amateur

Our ARRL Section Manager, Bonnie Altus AB7ZC, put together an
ad-hoc task force (including myself) in an effort to ensure that the
bills would be amended to exclude licensed amateur radio operators.
We contacted as many state Senators and Representatives as we could,
and by reports of those who were at the committee hearings, we were
certainly not alone in trying to get all sorts of communications
entities and services included in the exemption list.

It must have been successful, because the Legislative committees
irresponsible dismissed the THREE bills pertaining to that, deciding
instead to rely on existing legislation proscribing driving while
distracted. It makes more sense to deal with the action rather than
the device.

The statutes in NY, NJ, and CT specifically exempt licensed amateur
radio operators from the prohibition. California's statute doesn't
but uses the term "mobile radiotelephones" and by definition, amateur
radio transceivers are not "mobile radiotelephones".

73 de K2ASP - Phil Kane
ARRL Volunteer Counsel

From a Clearing in the Silicon Forest

Beaverton (Washington County) Oregon

e-mail: k2asp [at] arrl [dot] net

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