February 19, 2017
Update. ARRL News:
Subject: Use of Cellular and handheld communications devices while driving
subject. I know that there are some people working with the State
Legislature on this. The following memo discusses the background and
current status of ARRL efforts on this issue.MEMORANDUM
To: Dan Henderson Bob Vallio
From: Chris Imlay
Re: California Mobile Cellular Statute Revision AB.1785
Date: February 16, 2017
California has revised its State statutes addressing mobile wireless
operation. This was done without any advance notice to ARRL
Headquarters from radio amateurs in California. This new statute has
raised serious concerns since its passage by the State legislature and
enactment by the Governor of California for one principal reason: There
was included in the prior mobile cellular statute in California a
complete exemption for licensed Amateur Radio operators, which was not
included in this new legislation. The new legislation completely
replaces the earlier legislation. The new legislation reads as follows:
(a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while holding and
operating a handheld wireless telephone or an electronic wireless
communications device unless the wireless telephone or electronic
wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured
to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, and it is used in
that manner while driving.
(b) This section shall not apply to manufacturer-installed systems
that are embedded in the vehicle.
(c) A handheld wireless telephone or electronic wireless
communications device may be operated in a manner requiring the use of
the driver’s hand while the driver is operating the vehicle only if
both of the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) The handheld wireless telephone or electronic wireless
communications device is mounted on a vehicle’s windshield in the
same manner a portable Global Positioning System (GPS) is mounted
pursuant to paragraph (12) of subdivision (b) of Section 26708 or is
mounted on or affixed to a vehicle’s dashboard or center console in a
manner that does not hinder the driver’s view of the road.
(2) The driver’s hand is used to activate or deactivate a feature
or function of the handheld wireless telephone or wireless
communications device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the
(d) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base
fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars
($50) for each subsequent offense.
Here is the definition of an electronic wireless communications device
in the Bill:
(f) For the purposes of this section, “electronic wireless
communications device” includes, but is not limited to, a broadband
personal communication device, a specialized mobile radio device, a
handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, a pager, or
a two-way messaging device.
While AB 1785 does eliminate the mobile exemption for Amateur Radio
from the prior statute, there is no indication in this definition of
any intention to preclude either two-way private land mobile voice
communications or Amateur Radio communications. The specific reference
to SMRs and pagers is exclusionary rather than inclusive. They are CMRS
facilities, as are broadband PCS devices and two-way messaging devices.
It would be impossible to include Amateur portable transceivers in the
category of “electronic wireless communications device” as defined
in the Statute unless those were actually being used for mobile data
access while the control operator was driving a motor vehicle. Of
course, the principal use of Amateur portable transceivers is for
two-way voice communications.
The legislative record on this Statute indicates that it was intended
to apply to non-voice, non-text services now available on “smart
phones” (such as streaming video), which the former law did not
prohibit explicitly. However, due to some rather poor draftsmanship in
the text of the legislation defining what constitutes an “electronic
wireless communications device,” it is impossible to determine the
universe of such devices that are included in the definition. This is
because the definition above includes the words “but not limited
to” in giving examples of electronic devices that cannot be operated
while also operating a motor vehicle in California.
Furthermore, the foregoing analysis is very technical. ARRL is
concerned that law enforcement officers might interpret the new
statutory language in the Vehicle Code more broadly than we believe was
intended. Law enforcement officers are not necessarily skilled enough
in telecommunications technology to be able to make the fine
distinctions that radio amateurs are capable of, and they should not be
expected to do so, where the legislative intent is not clearly
While there is a risk that licensed Amateur Radio operators in
California using portable transceivers in their cars while driving may
be subject to sanctions from police officers, the intent of the
legislation clearly is to address handheld phones and mobile data and
not private land mobile, dispatch radios, or mobile radios for voice
communications with handheld mics.
The definitions in state mobile cellular and mobile texting laws do
make a difference. There are two ways to protect Amateur Radio in the
drafting of those statutes: one is by sufficiently narrowly defining
prohibited activity so as to exclude Amateur Radio. The other is to
create specific exemptions where the definitions are confusing. This
statute is an example of poor legislative draftsmanship. It creates a
motor vehicle law with citations issued for certain activity that
includes the words “but is not limited to” in the language defining the
violation. However, what is included does not proscribe use of mobile
Amateur Radio equipment for voice communications.
There are several ways to respond to this. Perhaps the most difficult
is to obtain a legislative amendment that either restores the Amateur
Radio exemption from the prior legislation. Obtaining curative
legislation so soon after enactment of a state statute is not
politically the most simple of tasks, and State legislatures are not in
session for long periods each year. That fix could take some time.
Another option is to attempt to obtain a favorable exclusionary
interpretation of the new Statute from the California Attorney
General’s office, which we understand has already been attempted
unsuccessfully by some California radio Amateurs, though the effort
could be renewed). Finally, if there is an instance of a radio amateur
being cited for violating the statute, a successful defense of that
citation could be used as a precedent for precluding subsequent
instances of application of the Statute to licensed radio Amateurs.
ARRL monitors state legislation in two ways; one is via a legislative
monitoring service that responds to key word searches and which did
identify this legislation, which when originally introduced was not in
the form ultimately enacted. The second is through ARRL’s section
level State Government Liaisons who monitor state and local
legislation. However, these efforts are not foolproof; mobile cellular
legislation is often introduced and passed on very short notice, and
State legislative sessions are very short. Proposed legislation during
those sessions change often. In this case, some retroactive advocacy is
called for, but the legislation is not as disruptive of mobile Amateur
Radio operation as the current level of concern would indicate. Nor are
the sanctions particularly severe for first or even subsequent offenses.
ARRL expects to pursue a fix for this through its advocacy efforts.
ARRL East Bay Section
Section Manager: James R Latham, AF6AQ
We regret to inform you that after nearly two decades of monthly Sunday morning amateur radio and electronics swap meets, the Livermore Amateur Radio Klub (LARK) is pulling the plug and canceling all future swap meets effective immediately. There will NOT be a May swap and all swaps for the foreseeable future have been canceled. This was a difficult decision, one that was avoided several times in recent months, but the reality cannot be avoided any longer. Declining attendance by both sellers and buyers, rising costs and the difficulty in recovering from the loss of the swap being held at Los Positas college are just a few of the reasons that led to this decision. It takes an enormous amount of work and resource to make these swaps successful and as a club we have witnessed a steady decline in both revenue and manpower to make the swap a worthwhile venture. We greatly appreciate your support over the years, it has been a fun ride while it lasted. LARK would especially like to thank all those who volunteered and rose at the crack of dawn on Sunday mornings to get the swap meet up and running to provide this fun and rewarding event for the amateur radio community at large. The swap will be missed.
LARK is looking at the possibility of a bi-annual event that may look more like a Hamfest including a swap meet. For that reason we are keeping the Yahoo swap list alive and we hope that you will keep your subscription active. Stay tuned as we work out those details. 73 from the Livermore Amateur Radio Klub (LARK)
** Please pass this along and help us get the word out if you can, thanks again.
ARRL East Bay Section
Posted by af6aq on March 22nd, 2011
The ARRL East Bay Section and the California Historical Radio Society are co-sponsoring the First Annual ARRL East Bay Section Convention. The event will be held at the KRE Building – Home of the California Historical Radio Society, Bay Area Radio Museum, and W6CF Memorial Station.
- Admission – Free
- When – June 4 from 0900 to 1300 hours.
- Where – 601 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, CA 94710 – (From I-80 East, take the Ashby/Shellmound Exit. Take the Shellmound turnoff. At the stop sign turn left onto Shellmound. Go across the bridge and make the first left into the gate. From I-80 West, take the Ashby Ave. Exit. Go under the bridge & make a right turn on 7th St. Go right on Folger. Go left on Hollis. Go right on 67th & then right on Shellmound, across the bridge and left into the gate.)
- Contact – Jim Latham, AF6AQ by email at email@example.com
- Swap Meet (No fee) – Gate opens 0800. No selling activity until 0900
- DXCC Card Checking (also VUCC, WAS and WAC cards)
- Kristen McIntyre, K6WX – “PSK-31 on iPad: A Personal Journey”
- Bruce Perens K6BP – “Codec 2, the new codec written by hams, for digital voice”
- East Bay Section ARES Leadership Meeting (for ECs and above)
- ARRL Forum/Open Section meeting.
- Drawing for door prizes.
To: Open Letter to all interested amateur radio operators
From: NARCC Spectrum Management Committee
Date: February 21, 2011
The Spectrum Management Committee (SMC) is a standing committee in NARCC. The committee is made up of representatives from all modes of communications used on frequencies above 29 MHz in Northern California, and the SMC has the task of ensuring that there is sufficient spectrum set aside for utilization by users of all modes, such as:
1) FM repeaters
2) Digital voice
3) Weak signal
4) Satellite communications
9) Moon bounce
10) And any other mode of communication that may be used in the furtherance of the amateur radio hobby.
The committee is charged with examining each band and making recommendations as to spectrum utilization, offset splits, repeater segments, auxiliary frequencies and other parameters within the scope of the amateur bands and FCC Part 97 rules in effect addressing frequencies above 29 MHz. The SMC shall ensure that adequate spectrum is allocated with a minimum amount of interference to other users
According to the NARCC Policy and Procedures Manual, a document that governs how
NARCC operates, the SMC shall review each band no less than once in any three (3) year period.
This open letter is written in the hopes of gathering those people interested in this very important mission who would like to get involved with the SMC and help us perform our task. We need folks from all segments of amateur radio activity above 29 MHz in Northern California to contact us, and join in the process. Your voice should be heard, and we welcome all interested parties who have a positive attitude toward moving spectrum management forward, and who have a genuine desire to help us make sure everyone and every known mode of operation is represented.
The SMC is comprised of basically three groups:
1) Those people in our Yahoo Chat Group, of which there are 67 at
the present time, who are interested in helping to shape our recommendations on spectrum, who interact by posting and commenting on the SMC Yahoo Group;
2) Those people in our Webinar Meeting Group, which meets every third Sunday
afternoon at 4:00 PM for a 1 1/2 hour VoIP meeting, and average 8 at the present time. This meeting is where most of the activity is found by those seriously involved in the SMC;
3) Those people who do not necessarily want to participate in the activities of the SMC, but want to stay apprised of our activiy because the outcome may affect their areas of interest in the hobby;
Please contact the Chairman of the Spectrum Management Committee, Shorty K6J5I
at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate in any of the above venues, and help us deal with the issues we are facing, and participate in the solution.
Your opinion is important to our moving forward with the goal of helping to make
a better amateur radio hobby, serving all of our needs. Please get involved and become part of the solution. Your voice counts, and we want to hear it.
ARRL East Bay Section
Section Manager: James R Latham, AF6AQ
2011 ARRL EAST BAY SECTION CONVENTION
The ARRL East Bay Section and the California Historical Radio Society are co-sponsoring the First Annual ARRL East Bay Section Convention.
The event will be held at the KRE Building – Home of the California Historical Radio Society, Bay Area Radio Museum, and W6CF Memorial Station.
• Admission – Free
• When – June 4 from 0900 to 1300 hours.
• Where – 601 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, CA 94710 – (From I-80 East, take the Ashby/Shellmound Exit. Take the Shellmound turnoff. At the stop sign turn left onto Shellmound. Go across the bridge and make the first left into the gate. From I-80 West, take the Ashby Ave. Exit. Go under the bridge & make a right turn on 7th St. Go right on Folger. Go left on Hollis. Go right on 67th & then right on Shellmound, across the bridge and left into the gate.)
• Contact – Jim Latham, AF6AQ by email at email@example.com
• Swap Meet (No fee) – Gate opens 0800. No selling activity until 0900
• DXCC Card Checking (also VUCC, WAS and WAC cards)
o Kristen McIntyre, K6WX – “PSK-31 on iPad: A Personal Journey”
o Bruce Perens K6BP – “Codec 2, the new codec written by hams, for digital voice”
• East Bay Section ARES Leadership Meeting (for ECs and above)
• ARRL Forum/Open Section meeting.
• Drawing for door prizes.
ARRL East Bay Section
Section Manager: James R Latham, AF6AQ