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Nascar scanners and Fla vehicle laws?

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cowboywildbill

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#1
Is there any truth to the stories that people with nascar scanners have been ticketed for having those scanners in thier vehicles while going to Daytona? I heard someone say they got nailed in a traffic stop. I would have thought the law would have excluded those type of scanners.
 

Vern

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#2
Hmmm...sounds kinda' hokey, but it wouldn't surprise me if they got stopped for "draftin' the guy in front of them" on the highway in the first place. (Either that or "qualifying" as I've read that some NASCAR fans have never heard of "speeding".)

The Florida statute starts of with:
"843.16 Unlawful to install or transport radio equipment using assigned frequency of state or law enforcement officers..."

No mention of NASCAR anywhere in the version of the statute that I read. I'll bet that this is either an 'urban legend' in the making or one of the first folks telling the story left out some relevant "tidbits" of info.

\/ern
 

UFEMTFF

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#3
Vern said:
Hmmm...sounds kinda' hokey, but it wouldn't surprise me if they got stopped for "draftin' the guy in front of them" on the highway in the first place. (Either that or "qualifying" as I've read that some NASCAR fans have never heard of "speeding".)

The Florida statute starts of with:
"843.16 Unlawful to install or transport radio equipment using assigned frequency of state or law enforcement officers..."

No mention of NASCAR anywhere in the version of the statute that I read. I'll bet that this is either an 'urban legend' in the making or one of the first folks telling the story left out some relevant "tidbits" of info.

\/ern
I don't quite know what you are saying in your response, but I'll be a little more clear.

It is possible that someone got ticketed for having a scanner in their car, since they are illegal to transport in a vechicle in this state, unless you are a ham, etc. So...whether or not the scanner has a NASCAR sticker on it, is moot.

Again ----- whatever sticker your scanner has on it, no matter where you are from, where you're going or who your mother is, if you aren't a HAM or your vehicle isn't an emergency vehicle, you COULD get a ticket for having a scanner or radio in your car.
 

Vern

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#4
I wasn't referring to any NASCAR stickers (as few models came with them) but rather NASCAR freq's.

The Florida statute doesn't say you can't have a 'scanner' in your car, it says you can't have:
"...any frequency modulation radio receiving equipment so adjusted or tuned as to receive messages or signals on frequencies assigned by the Federal Communications Commission to police or law enforcement officers or fire rescue personnel of any city or county of the state or to the state or any of its agencies. " (Excerpt directly from FL Statute)

Therefore, if the "radio receiving equipment" was NOT programmed with freq's assigned by the FCC to LE, FD, or any state agencies but only with NASCAR freq's that there would not be a violation of this law.
 
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#5
This is another of the multitude of reasons this is a bad law obviously written by someone with little familiarity with the topic at hand. If they wanted to forbid use of radios capable of receiving police and fire frequencies, then a strict, logical interpretation of this law will leave it falling short of that goal. Simply turning the scanner off renders it not adjusted or tuned to receive anything.

On the flip side, if they wrote it so it would forbid transport of a radio capable of being tuned to police and fire frequencies, even if turned off or not actively receiving those frequencies, then the only way to legally get a scanner home from the store would be to walk. If you bought online, then the UPS driver or postal carrier would be in violation of the law as they delivered it.

From just reading the law it's not clear to me exactly what they were trying to accomplish, though I'm pretty sure they missed the mark.
 
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#6
I'm glad this is a fresh post. I definitely agree with Patch. The thing about this all is that the cops dont know the exact details of the stautes. They all tell me when i ask "Look on the website with the florida statutes, thats what the judges will use if it comes to that." SO, as long as we stick to exactly what the statute says, we should absolutely be safe. Maybe even keep a copy of that statute in your car :wink:
 
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#7
I have to disagree with the UPS or the postal carrier breaking the law because TECHNICALLY the police would have a hard time prooving it's in THE DRIVER'S POSSESION.The driver is an employee doing his or her job and for all intents and purposes and has no idea what's in the packages and only is responsible for their safe arrival. All the time in transit the package belongs to UPS, the company, not the driver. Even UPS can't be charged because they don''t know what they are delivering It would be too much of a head
To get technical the driver could easily proove he didn't know he had a scanner in his possession. Even if he got charged PERSONALLY, and it actually went to court, in theory it's considered an "occupational hazard" and UPS by law has to pay for his defense or find themselves in very hot water. The driver himself is only liable for the safe delivery of the package. It'd be the same as if he was carrying drugs or guns, the prosecutor has to prove the driver knew what he was transporting. Any defense attorney would make mince meat out of this
case. That's only if the DA is completely out of his mind and charges him.
Here's another example more cut and dry. Remember the Anthax threats a few years back? They were delivered by mail. The folks who actually delivered the tainted letters didn't get charged because they didn't know what was in them,


Patch42 said:
On the flip side, if they wrote it so it would forbid transport of a radio capable of being tuned to police and fire frequencies, even if turned off or not actively receiving those frequencies, then the only way to legally get a scanner home from the store would be to walk. If you bought online, then the UPS driver or postal carrier would be in violation of the law as they delivered it.

From just reading the law it's not clear to me exactly what they were trying to accomplish, though I'm pretty sure they missed the mark.
 
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#9
You're certainly right that no prosecutor in his right mind is going to charge the UPS driver for delivering a scanner. But that doesn't mean they aren't in technical violation of the law. BTW, the package doesn't belong to UPS. It belongs to whoever purchased it. But UPS and the driver are obviously in possession of it while it's being delivered. The law doesn't say anything about ownership. It says, "...install or transport..." Transport is exactly what UPS has been hired to do. Again, though, it's a moot point because they're never going to get charged.

Let's a try a more likely scenario. I'm helping you move. You pack your scanner in a box and put it in my trunk. Am I violating this law by driving to your new house with this box in my trunk, even though I have no specific knowledge of the contents of the box? The law doesn't forbid ownership, it forbids transport in a vehicle. Ownership is irrelevant.
 
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#10
W4KRR said:
Well, in essance it does. Read the first post in this thread for the statute.
http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97257
I'm not sure I agree with the "plain English" interpretation of the law in that thread. The law clearly forbids actively listening to police or fire frequencies in a vehicle. It's not so clear that driving home from Radio Shack with your new scanner, still in the box, is a violation of the law. It's not clear that carrying my scanner to and from work in my briefcase, not turning it on while in the car, is a violation of the law. It's not even clear if having it on the seat next to me, configured to monitor only trains and buses, is a violation of the law. I say again, it's a very poorly written law.
 
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#11
I'll probablly have some Florida cop try to make me ratract this statement but here we go. IT'S A STUPID LAW, it always was a stupid law it will always be a stupid law. All agruement pro and con aside the aw as written makes zero sense Even though we are i nterupt the law almost the same way y ou really have to get it in front of a judge. God forbid a warrant is issued to confiscate all illegal items fro a vehicle. The usual a bag of weed, couple of guns and o-f course a police scanner.
You know for all the jokes we make about lawyers, you got to hand it to them. They'd figure out some waiver of liability mumbo jumbo and probablly wind up challenging the law and it be overturned. A lot of good it will do since the enitre state will be unmonitorable.



Patch42 said:
You're certainly right that no prosecutor in his right mind is going to charge the UPS driver for delivering a scanner. But that doesn't mean they aren't in technical violation of the law. BTW, the package doesn't belong to UPS. It belongs to whoever purchased it. But UPS and the driver are obviously in possession of it while it's being delivered. The law doesn't say anything about ownership. It says, "...install or transport..." Transport is exactly what UPS has been hired to do. Again, though, it's a moot point because they're never going to get charged.

Let's a try a more likely scenario. I'm helping you move. You pack your scanner in a box and put it in my trunk. Am I violating this law by driving to your new house with this box in my trunk, even though I have no specific knowledge of the contents of the box? The law doesn't forbid ownership, it forbids transport in a vehicle. Ownership is irrelevant.
 
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#12
It doesn't seem so stupid after you obtain your ham ticket and don't have to worry about it anymore. Yeah, it's an inconvenience to law-abiding citizens, but in the end, what happens? You better yourself by learning something new and get rewarded for it (through an amateur license, and for a very reasonable price). Is that so horrible? I think not.
 
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#13
Doesn't Florida law also say it is illegal to have a scanner at your place of business, or did they get rid of that one. I remember a friend getting nailed on that one 10 or 15 years ago maybe. Worse yet, he heard something about someone who was wanted on the scanner and called the police to let them know where the suspect was. After arresting the suspect they went to my friends business and cited him and confiscated the scanner!
 

swstow

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#14
lets put it this way 7 years in daytona working for the police dept i never heard of anybody getting a ticket for having a scanner with them during race week, they even sell then in vendors row at the speedway,most times if you do get stopped and have a reasonable explanation nothing more is said, but on the other hand if your out at 3am and cant explain why your in a closed buiness area then that will raise some questions


The 2007 Florida Statutes

Title XLVI
CRIMES Chapter 843
OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE View Entire Chapter

843.167 Unlawful use of police communications; enhanced penalties.--

(1) A person may not:

(a) Intercept any police radio communication by use of a scanner or any other means for the purpose of using that communication to assist in committing a crime or to escape from or avoid detection, arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment in connection with the commission of such crime.

(b) Divulge the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of a police radio communication to any person he or she knows to be a suspect in the commission of a crime with the intent that the suspect may escape from or avoid detention, arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment.

(2) Any person who is charged with a crime and who, during the time such crime was committed, possessed or used a police scanner or similar device capable of receiving police radio transmissions is presumed to have violated paragraph (1)(a).

(3) The penalty for a crime that is committed by a person who violates paragraph (1)(a) shall be enhanced as follows:

(a) A misdemeanor of the second degree shall be punished as if it were a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(b) A misdemeanor of the first degree shall be punished as if it were a felony of the third degree.

(c) A felony of the third degree shall be punished as if it were a felony of the second degree.

(d) A felony of the second degree shall be punished as if it were a felony of the first degree.

(e) A felony of the first degree shall be punished as if it were a life felony.

(4) Any person who violates paragraph (1)(b) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.--s. 8, ch. 2001-127.
 
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#15
Viper43 said:
Doesn't Florida law also say it is illegal to have a scanner at your place of business, or did they get rid of that one.
It's still there. I was concerned at first because I sometimes listen to my scanner at work. Then I realized it would fall under the "installed" provision. The Attorney General has issued an opinion that concerning vehicular use this means using an external antenna and (maybe 'or') running off power provided by the vehicle. By extension, a scanner "installed" in a place of business would have to be using an external antenna and/or running off mains power to run afoul of this law. I use the whip and keep a spare set of batteries, so I'm within the law.
 
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#17
scanfreq315 said:
Poorly written or not, we all know what the intent of the statute is.
Actually, I DON'T know the intent of the statute. That's the problem.

My guess is they're trying to keep people from listening to the police/fire on a scanner while in a moving vehicle. But that's not what the law says. It says "transport", which, if strictly interpreted, means you could not have a scanner in a moving vehicle. Period. Doesn't matter if it's in the trunk, turned off, batteries out, still new in the box on the way home from Radio Shack. Maybe. It's not at all clear to me if the verbage describing the type of radio is referring to any radio that CAN receive police/fire frequencies but may not be currently programmed to do so, to any radio that is PROGRAMMED to receive police/fire frequencies but is not currently doing so, or only to radios that ARE actively receiving police/fire transmissions or scanning police/fire frequencies.

It's a bad, bad law.
 
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