Bill 118 – How do you look at it?

Well group…

If you have been following this blog and many others you have to know about how the Goverment of Ontario is handling the new found problem of playing with your cell phone or other handheld devices while operating a motor vehicle.

The best way ( and easiest) wayh to describe it is that they outright banned the use of any handheld elecftrical device whicle operating a motor vehicle.

The only exclusion for us who are not Police, Fire, EMS or Public Utility workers is that they are giving Radio Operators (CBers, Private Commercal Radio, and Amateur Radio) a three year exclusion to give us a chance to get hands free equipment up and running.

Lots of people smarter than I (and that lots) have been looking at the bill and deciding they have found a loophole that helps us.  Strange… cuz I can’t find any to speak of…  I thought I found a few but every time I took a second sip of my coffee and re read it again  I realised what the intent of the wording was and well its back to square 1 again…

Right now if you check out the RAC Blog we get told one thing and if you check out the ARES Ontario Website we get told another…

Personally I think its a good thing we are exempted for 3 years (at least that is explained properly) as it seems everyone has an opinion and when I voice my opinion here on the blog…. THATS MY OPINION AND YOU TAKE IT WITH A GRAIN OF SALT….  Depending on which site you look at…  the way you look at things decide what you could get charged with….  It could take 3 years just to figure things  out…

Exempting us as Amateur Radio Operators for three years means that the officer no longer has a low cost option for us…

I give you this example….  I’m driving down the road and I get cut off and slam on my brakes or swerve  to avoid a collision.  An officer sitting on the side of the road doing his paperwork looks up AFTER hearing the squeal of the tires and sees me talking on the radio…  He pulls me over to see whats going on and I proudly tell him that he can;t write the ticket for Driving while distracted (using a radio/cell phone or whatever) because as a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator I am exempt…

So instead of getting the low priced ticket he now searches for something to write and now we find the “Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle” style of charge.  This one is worth much more than the “Driving While Distracted” and it also includes points as well…  I’m sure my insurance company will be happy about this and let me know the next time they run me at renewal time…

Just something to keep in the back of your mind when you get stopped because the officer ( when he stops you) might not realize its an exempt amateur radio when you see the flashing blue and reds.  Watch what you say when you get pulled over cause… The other options could be expensive.

Until the powers that be figure out what the heck is going on out there please be careful and remember “What you say can be used against you” and it may never be in court…

73bob

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2 Responses to “Bill 118 – How do you look at it?”

  1. Tim VE3UO Says:

    I’m s-o-o-o-o-o confused !!!!

    If one acquires a headset such as the Heil Traveller with a ‘button’ (or PTT switch) and the button is attached to your clothing, you are supposedly in compliance with the new regulations.

    BUT … while you’re transmitting you have one of your hands pressing the PTT button – so you might just as well have your hand on the microphone !!

    It might take three years to figure out exactly what is legal and what isn’t.

  2. va3qv Says:

    I agree Tim… Its going to take the full three years of our exemption to figure out whats legal and whats not a good thing…

    My choice would be the headset with a PTT button on the dash or perhaps on the steering wheel if the wiring issue could be easily worked out… but it you look at 14-1 which reads:

    “14. (1) A person may drive a motor vehicle on a highway while pressing a button on a hand-held wireless communication device to make, answer or end a cell phone call or to transmit or receive voice communication on a two-way radio if the device is placed securely in or mounted to the motor vehicle so that it does not move while the vehicle is in motion and the driver can see it at a quick glance and easily reach it without adjusting his or her driving position.”

    I read it as saying everything must securely mounted in the motor vehicle. I take this as meaning RADIO and PTT Button….

    The problem is there is NO RIGHT ANSWER as every officer will have his/her own opinion on what the law intends…

    Best chance I feel would be very careful… and secure all the equipment along with a very generous helping of Humble Pie combined with lots of “Yes Officer” when they light you up with the Blue and Reds…

    73bob

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