There was recently a case in NY where a
policeman ticketed a Ham operator for using his phone. The
judged ruled in the Ham's favor since the law applied
specifically to wireless phones.
I just received
this e-mail alert from the ARRL Westerna Penn. Section
Manager John Rodgers, N3MSE:
I have been made aware
of a proposed bill introduced into the Pa Senate by Sen.
Ferlo. The legislation designated as Senate bill (SB583)
would prohibit the operation of any communications device
while mobile. The legislation does not exempt Amateur
Radio in any manner and needs to be quickly amended to
protect our rights. This bill has been referred to the
transportation committee and needs to be defeated or
The text of the proposed bill is
available at http://www.legis.state.pa.us/ in the top
right you can search for the SB583
[complete text of the bill posted below] and
then see a complete copy of the bill. I also have the text
available as a pdf for anyone needing a copy.
can then see a complete copy of the text of the proposed
I urge everyone to voice their concerns with
regard to this proposed legislation as well as to spread
the word about this threat to our operations for both
emergency and general use.
W. Pa. Section Manager
Western Pennsylvania Section
Section Manager: John V
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
BY FERLO, FONTANA, STACK, ERICKSON, COSTA, KITCHEN,
WILLIAMS, BREWSTER AND WASHINGTON, FEBRUARY 18, 2011
REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION, FEBRUARY 18, 2011
Amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, prohibiting the use of
mobile telephones and hand-held communication devices.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:
Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
amended by adding a section to read:
Prohibiting the use of mobile telephones and hand-held
(a) Prohibition.--Except as
otherwise provided in this section, no person shall
operate a motor vehicle upon a highway while using a
mobile telephone or hand-held communication device to
engage in a call or wireless communication while the
vehicle is in motion.
(b) Presumption.--An operator
of a motor vehicle who uses a mobile telephone or
hand-held communication device while the vehicle is in
motion is presumed to be engaging in a call or wireless
communication within the meaning of this section. The
presumption established by this subsection is rebuttable
by evidence tending to show that the operator was not
engaged in a call or wireless communication.
Seizure.--The provisions of this section shall not be
construed as authorizing the seizure or forfeiture of a
mobile telephone or hand-held communication device, unless
otherwise provided by law.
Applicability.--This section shall not apply to:
(1) the use of a mobile telephone or hand-held
communication device for the sole purpose of communicating
with any of the following regarding an emergency
(1) an emergency response operator; a
hospital, physician's office or health clinic; an
ambulance company or corps; a fire department, district or
company; or a police department;
(2) any of the
following persons while in the performance of their
official duties: a police officer or peace officer; a
member of a fire department, district or company; or
(3) the use of a hands-free mobile telephone.
(e) Penalty.--A violation of subsection (a) is a summary
offense punishable by a fine of not more than $100.
(f) Definitions.--As used in this section, the
following words and phrases shall have the meanings given
to them in this subsection:
"Engage in a call."
Talking into or listening on a hand-held mobile telephone
or hand-held communication device, but shall not include
holding a mobile telephone or hand-held communication
device to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of
the telephone or device.
device." An electronic device that provides mobile
telephone service or other wireless communication
functions. The term includes a two-way radio device that
provides radio communication between mobile and land
stations or between mobile stations. The term does not
include a voice-activated global positioning or navigation
system that is permanently affixed to a motor vehicle.
"Hands-free mobile telephone." A mobile telephone that
has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped
with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently
part of the mobile telephone, by which a user engages in a
call without the use of either hand whether or not the use
of either hand is necessary to activate, deactivate or
initiate a function of such telephone.
proximity." That distance as permits the operator of a
mobile telephone or hand-held communication device to hear
telecommunications transmitted over the mobile telephone
or hand-held communication device, but shall not require
physical contact with the operator's ear.
telephone." The device used by subscribers and other users
of wireless telephone service to access service.
"Text message." Short messaging service or the process by
which users send or receive messages on wireless handsets.
For purposes of this definition, an e-mail shall be
considered a text message.
"Using." Holding a
mobile telephone or hand-held communication device to, or
in the immediate proximity of, the operator's ear or
performing a wireless communication function.
"Wireless communication." Includes a text message, e-mail,
push e-mail, Internet fax and Web browsing.
2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
- Kirt Blattenberger
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster