Although things have to be confirmed it does look promising for the Amateur Radio Community in Ontario. I could live with being restricted to operating with using (and I quote)
“Citizens’ Band (CB) radios are hard-wired into the vehicle and thus fall outside the intended schop of new legislation that bans wireless, hand-held electronic devices.”
As we know size wise there is no difference between an CB or a Private Commercal Radio (VHF/UHF/Trunking etc and our amateur mobile units. I think the defining term would be “Hard Wired” or as I mentioned earlier in a post back on June 9th “Properly Mounted”…
As amateurs I don’t think we are in need of any “special status” but rather think that we should fall into the same catagories of other professionals who use two way radio as a tool in their professions. Their radios have microphones, ours have microphones… Their radios are mounted securely, ours should be mounted securely… Their radios are mounted in a way that the driver is not distracted and of course ours should be as well…
I also am in favour of the officer having the option of charging a driver with driving while distracted no matter the circumstances.
I quote from the RAC BLOG article…
“…The Toronto Star articles goes on to say: “That said drivers can still be charged with careless driving if they aren’t paying attention behind the wheel and place other road users at risk as a result of suing a CB radio or engaging in any other behaviour that distracts them from the driving task.”…. “
This would apply to the taxi driver looking at his map or staring at his GPS, the courier looking for the parcel in his front seat, or the amateur trying to QSY to a different repeater or any else who is non caring enough to not concentrate of guiding his vehicle through traffic. This by the way is not “anti-amateur but more “pro common sense…”
In reality all this is not going to change anything…. 99% of our hard working law enforcement types are going to be way too busy to do any sort of enforcement on this one…. Nothing against our officers…. Its reality …. but it does give them the right to lay the charge if he notices you weaving in traffic as you try and text message , read a map, look in the back seat or if you are not watching the road as you try and QSY while driving….
Its all common sense and as much as I don’t like the idea that we could get charged under the act for operating a radio “dangerously” while driving (in the officers opinion) I also don’t like the idea that someone could be driving towards me who is operating dangerously….
It all comes back to using “Common Sense” and I hope we can show that the amateur community has that….
Please Note: this blog post is based on information from the RAC BLOG and the Toronto Star Newspaper. My comments are my own but the information that I am basing my comments on have yet to be confirmed.