Well, I have been burning up the internet with Google Searches and checking all the websites I could with attempts at finding the right information. As it looks all provinces/territories have some sort of leglislation that concerns/addresses the driving while distracted issue.
Some of them have given the Amateur Radio community some exemptions and others have not.
Here is the list as I have it and please feel free to inform me if my list is error. The goverment websites are hard to navigate around and if I clicked on the wrong link there might be a chance that my information is in error.
As usual this is a starting point for you to begin your quest for information and you should take any information you find here at your own risk.
Newfoundland-Has a cellphone ban while driving but no direct mention of Radios.
Nova Scotia- Has a cellphone ban while driving and exempts Amateur Gear
New Brunswick- Has a cellphone ban while driving- No GENERAL EXEMPTION FOR AMATEURS however we do get an emergency use exemption if we are active in SAR or Emergency use.
Prince Edward Island- Has a cellphone ban but I could find not mention of radios.
Quebec- Has a cellphone ban but has exempted radio equipment- This is what I can tell from getting documents translated on line. If there is a better source of information please advise me
Ontario- Has a cellphone ban and has given a time exemption on all radio equipment so we can get working blue tooth. Ontario Amateurs have two years left in the exemption.
Manitoba- Has a cellphone ban and has given Amateur Radio Operators an exemption
Saskatchewan- Has a cellphone ban and from what I could find on line there is no real mention of Amateur Radio Equipment
Alberta- Has a cellphone ban- According to the website they are looking at enacting some sort of exemptions for Amateur Radio Operators. I could use some up to date information on this one please
British Columbia- Has a cellphone ban and has given Amateur Radio Operators an exemption
Yukon Territories- No leglislation yet.
North West Territories- Could find mention of committe planning but could not find any links to leglislation
Nunuvut- No leglislation yet
Now like I mentoned earlier you must do your own research on this topic. The information I give you is your starting point in your quest for knowledge. Also please remember that the exemptions do not stop the officer from issueing a citation for a more serious offence such as the equivilent of Dangerous Driving or however they word it. The exemption just allows you to have your radio michrophone or handie in your hand while driving.
I do find it interesting however that the Provinces that have shown the greatest respect for the Value of Amateur Radio Operators are those provinces that have used our services recently. The Manitoba Floods, The Swiss Air Disaster and the constant threat of earthquakes seem to stay in Politicians minds. Ontario has forgotten about the Ice Storm and the blackout, but it seems Quebec has a longer memory.
Now as we continue along with this topic, as we lobby the provinces who need reminding about our value remember we have to do this nicely… No one likes the people who text and talk… We have to educate them on the benefits of our hobby… The best way to do this is for you as an active amateur to lobby the people we call our clients and served agencies. You as a ham foaming off at the mouth to your MPP will do nothing….
Your contact explaining how without CANWARN operators reporting in the system does not work and that when close to the Tornado the idea of pulling over to report in rather than driving away as you are reporting in is much better... The public service events that rely on Amateur Communications that could not be there if we don’t feel like keeping a mobile rig in the car because we can’t use it…
Those are the people who have to step up and make their voices heard… Your clients and partners…
Also remember your provincial Goverments are not banning the use of Amateur Radio equipment in mobile settings. They are just saying they don’t want the driver using the equipment while he is operating the equipment. Although I agree with you that they should leave us alone if you are going to complain then you should have your facts correct for when the person you are debating on this topic suddenly springs that one on you. They are telling the common motorists to pull over to talk and text….
This topic will be covered by several blogs. VE3GNA has been looking at this topic in Ontario and with the recent leglisltation in New Brunswick it should get people talking again.
When you talk to your Clients and Partners or when you meet your Local MPP or MLA please remember to be polite and calm. You will be representing your hobby (and its my hobby too…) to the people who most likely will be making some decisions that will affect our hobby for years to come…