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 revised.
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
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.
You can then
see a complete copy of the text of the proposed bill.
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.
John Rodgers, N3MSE
W. Pa. Section Manager
ARRL Western Pennsylvania Section
Section Manager: John V Rodgers, N3MSE
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED 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
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts
Section 1. Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 3316. Prohibiting the use of mobile
telephones and hand-held communication devices.
(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
(c) 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.
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
(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
(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.
"Hand-held communication 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.
"Immediate 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.
"Mobile 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
"Wireless communication." Includes a text message, e-mail,
push e-mail, Internet fax and Web browsing.
Section 2. This act shall take effect
in 60 days.
- Kirt Blattenberger
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster