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ARLB011 ARRL Executive Committee Issues Mobile Amateur Radio Operation Policy Statement

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  • Mark Thompson
    ZCZC AG11 QST de W1AW  ARRL Bulletin 11  ARLB011 From ARRL Headquarters  Newington CT  February 3, 2009 To all radio amateurs SB QST ARL ARLB011 ARLB011
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2009
      ZCZC AG11
      QST de W1AW 
      ARRL Bulletin 11  ARLB011
      From ARRL Headquarters 
      Newington CT  February 3, 2009
      To all radio amateurs

      SB QST ARL ARLB011
      ARLB011 ARRL Executive Committee Issues Mobile Amateur Radio
      Operation Policy Statement

      On January 30, at the instruction of the Board of Directors at its
      January 2009 meeting, the ARRL Executive Committee adopted a policy
      statement on mobile Amateur Radio operations. The statement
      addresses the growing number of proposed state and local laws and
      ordinances regulating the use of cellular telephone and text
      messaging, inadvertently affecting Amateur Radio mobile
      communications.

      In its statement, the Executive Committee urges state and municipal
      legislators to limit the scope of their proposals, limiting them to
      devices such as full duplex wireless telephones and related
      hand-held or portable equipment. Alternately, it suggests that
      licensed Amateur Radio operation be listed specifically as an
      exclusion to the proposed regulations.

      "At the start of each new session, you see a flurry of this type of
      proposal in state legislatures across the country," said ARRL
      Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND.

      As of February 1, 2009, Henderson said that the ARRL is aware of
      proposals in 11 states: Georgia, Hawaii Idaho, Illinois, Iowa,
      Maine, Montana, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming, as well as
      several local city or town proposals.

      "These proposals are usually intended to regulate cellular telephone
      and text messaging by drivers as a matter of safety but, when they
      are written in very broad terms, can include Amateur Radio mobile
      operations in the 'net' they cast," Henderson continued. "The
      Executive Committee's policy statement gives a good, concise
      background of the role the Amateur Service plays in public safety
      and service communications. It also highlights the differences
      between communications conducted by cellular telephone and those
      using Amateur Radio. Finally, the statement offers some suggested
      statutory language for state motor vehicle codes which would protect
      Amateur Radio mobile operation."

      The ARRL recognizes that driver inattention is a leading cause of
      automobile accidents. The policy statement raises the fact that cell
      phones utilize full duplex communications -- where the user is
      talking and listening simultaneously. The Executive Committee
      statement says "Two-way radio use is dissimilar from full-duplex
      cellular telephone communications because the operator spends little
      time actually transmitting; the time spent listening is more similar
      to, and arguably less distracting than listening to a broadcast
      radio, CD or MP3 player. There are no distinctions to be made
      between or among Amateur Radio, public safety land mobile, private
      land mobile or citizen's radio in terms of driver distraction. All
      are distinguishable from mobile cellular telephone communications in
      this respect."

      The ARRL Policy Statement also recognizes the responsibility of the
      amateur community to conduct its activities in a manner that does
      not create unsafe operation of their motor vehicle. "Safety has to
      be a top concern at all times," Henderson concluded.

      The ARRL Policy Statement can be found on the web at,
      http://www.arrl.org/govrelations/MobileAmateurRadioPolicyStatement.pdf.
      NNNN
      /EX


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