Todays news from the Minsitry of Transportation is questionable… The first thing that come to mind is…
What the heck were they thinking????
Hands free Amateur Radios??? even funnier… Hands Free CB Radios???? and I’m sure some of the companies like Motorola will be lining up to build a new line of private-commercal radios just for use in Ontario… (YA RIGHT…)
On the brighter side of things we do have 3 years to continue operating our existing equipment which means that events like the Canadian Ski Marathon and other large scale public service events that need communications have 3 years to figure out how they are going to do things without mobile communications.
It seems almost ironic that we get this news on September 30th and on October 3rd amateurs in Ontario will be assisting Emergency Management Ontario with the Province Wide Simulated Emergency Test. I am sure that some ARES Groups will have to need to operate mobile for parts of this exercise and with todays news I am wondering how many more people will invest their hard earned dollars on mobile equipment that they will be severly restricted on using.
The complete article is also posted below…
Bob is not impressed…
Ontario’s New Rules For Hand-Held Wireless And Entertainment Devices
September 30, 2009 10:39 AM
Hands-free devices will still be permitted.
This new law also prohibits viewing a display screen unrelated to the driving task such as laptops or DVD players while driving.
The new law applies only to hand-held wireless communications and hand-held electronic entertainment devices. This means drivers must only use wireless devices that can be used in a “hands-free” manner:
- a cell phone with an earpiece or headset using voice dialling, or plugged into the vehicle’s sound system
- a global positioning system (GPS) device that is properly secured to the dashboard or another accessible place in the vehicle
- a portable audio player that has been plugged into the vehicle’s sound system.
Some wireless devices require that users push a button to activate and/or deactivate the device’s “hands-free” function. This activity is permitted under the law.
Drivers will not be permitted to use hand-held communication and entertainment devices when driving, with the following exceptions:
- Calling 9-1-1 in an emergency situation
- When the driver has safely pulled off the roadway and is stationary or is lawfully parked.
Other devices not included in the ban:
- Viewing a display screen used for collision avoidance systems
- Viewing a display screen of an instrument, gauge or system that provides information to the driver about the status of systems in the motor vehicle.
Emergency Response Personnel
Police, fire department and emergency medical services personnel will be permitted to use hand-held wireless communications devices and view display screens in the normal performance of their duties.
The use of hand-held radios by amateur radio operators (who provide assistance, especially in emergency situations such as severe storms and blackouts) will be phased out within three years, to allow hands-free technologies to be developed.
A small percentage of drivers in transport-related industries (e.g., school buses, taxis, couriers) and public service workers (e.g., transit and highway maintenance workers) rely on the use of certain types of wireless devices and display screen technologies in the performance of day-to-day operations.
To help these businesses stay competitive, Ontario is granting a three-year phase-out period for the commercial use of two-way radios, including mobile and CB radios, to allow for hands-free technologies to be developed.
The new law will not affect mobile data terminals, logistical tracking devices and dispatching devices. They will be exempt for commercial and public service vehicle drivers who are engaged in the performance of their duties.
Hand-mikes (push-to-talk systems) and portable radios (walkie-talkies) may be used in a hands-free mode. This would mean the driver can use a lapel button or other hands-free application as long as the hand-mike or walkie-talkies is not held while driving.
- Bob Nichols
- Nicole Lippa-Gasparro