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Mobile-Amateur-Radio-Policy

Mobile Amateur Radio Policy

In today's interconnected world, mobile communications brings unqiue oppportunities and responsibilities.  Many state and local governments have adopted, or are considering, restrictions on mobile telecommunications in order to address sfatey concerns caused by distracted driving. These governmental policies are generally designed to address concerns over the use of cellular telephones or text-messaging capabilities. At times these laws and ordinances inadvertently and negatively impact mobile Amateur Radio communications.

In October 2014, the ARRL's Executive Committee updated its previous policy statement on mobile Amateur Radio operation.  This current ARRL statement on Mobile Amateur Radio Operating can be read and downloaded here.  The Executive Committee in part offers:

"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 as defined below.

Suggested statutory language for state motor vehicle codes follows:

(Definition)

 “Personal Wireless Communications Device” as used herein means a device through which commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services are transmitted. Such devices include hand held or portable electronic equipment capable of providing full duplex, wireless voice or data communications via the public switched telephone network between two or more people, and devices for text messaging or paging, but do not include two-way radio communications equipment such as that used in the Amateur Radio Service.

 (Prohibited Acts)

Section __________ Use of Personal Wireless Communications Devices prohibited. No person shall use a Personal Wireless Communications Device in any manner, including the reading or sending of text or electronic messages on the telephone, while operating a motor vehicle unless the device is specifically designed to allow hands-free operation and the telephone is so used. This section shall not apply to a person who is using the device: (a) While the vehicle is lawfully parked; or (b) To contact or receive calls from an emergency response vehicle or agency."