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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New York ham cited for talking while driving

From YNN:

Sunday morning, Steve Bozak (WB2IQU/HL9VX) took a drive to Troy. On the way, he talked to his buddies using his ham radio. But he didn't expect to talk to a police officer next.

Bozak said, "He assured me that I was not to be talking on that cell phone. I said this isn't a cell phone. It's an amateur radio. He said it's all the same."

Bozak was issued [a] ticket for talking on a mobile device while driving.

So it appears that law enforcement is targeting ham operators (and possibly CBers) who hold a handheld radio to their ear in order to hear what's being said.

I suppose the lesson here is to use a mobile with a very loud speaker, or whip it over to the curb every time you want to key the mic.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of talking while driving (I can't recall how many times I've nearly been hit by someone distracted on their phone) but I have never had any problems while using a mobile or HT in my vehicle.

Bozak faces a $100 fine and plans to not only contest the ticket but seek an amendment to the state law to exempt ham operators from the statute.

Stay tuned, and drive safe.