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Is Mobile Use of CB Radios Becoming Illegal?

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DoctorZ

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Until February of 2020, I did not know of any Distracted Driving laws that banned the use of CB Radios. CB Radios have piggy-backed on Ham Radio exemptions throughout the Distracted Driving law restrictions--until now.

In February 2020 Massachusetts Distracted Driving law went into effect that only has exemptions for "Federally Licensed" 2-way radio operators. CB's are NOT licensed, so this means no more CB use while driving through the State of Massachusetts.

Also GMRS would still be allowed, but FRS would not. Here's a link to the new law:

Massachusetts Distracted Driving Law As Applied to Ham Radio Operation | Barnstable Amateur Radio Club
 

W9WSS

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Not in Illinois. Ham, CB, GMRS, Business Radio, or ANY FCC-licensed radio service is permitted to be used by a motor vehicle in motion in the State of Illinois. I will attempt to attach a .jpg copy of the statute that I carry in the glove box of both of my cars.SOS Radio Exemption 08-2019.jpg
 

dlwtrunked

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Until February of 2020, I did not know of any Distracted Driving laws that banned the use of CB Radios. CB Radios have piggy-backed on Ham Radio exemptions throughout the Distracted Driving law restrictions--until now.

In February 2020 Massachusetts Distracted Driving law went into effect that only has exemptions for "Federally Licensed" 2-way radio operators. CB's are NOT licensed, so this means no more CB use while driving through the State of Massachusetts.

Also GMRS would still be allowed, but FRS would not. Here's a link to the new law:

Massachusetts Distracted Driving Law As Applied to Ham Radio Operation | Barnstable Amateur Radio Club
The law says "may operate a motor vehicle while using a federally licensed 2–way radio or mobile telephone, except as provided in sections 8M, 12A and 13B, as long as 1 hand remains on the steering wheel at all times.”" . It does not say "operator". In addition, it is a "license by rule", see CB radio in the United States - Wikipedia
I do not think the intent was to ban CB use in vehicles. Any good lawyer would win this and I am not sure even one would be needed.
 

jhooten

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BUT, to be covered by the license by rule provisions the operation must be in compliance with the rules of the service. That means using approved equipment.
 

WB9YBM

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BUT, to be covered by the license by rule provisions the operation must be in compliance with the rules of the service. That means using approved equipment.
Not exactly. For example it is illegal to have an amplifier for the C.B. band unless you're a ham. Besides, how many people looking into your car will know what the radio under your dash is capable of?
 

buddrousa

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The use of a amplifier is still not legal by a ham on CB Frequencies but there are Frequencies close to the CB Band that a Ham can use a Amplifier on.
On CB Frequencies if you agree to the FCC rules of CB you have a Licence if I remember when they done away with the 5 year Licence.
 

mmckenna

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CB's are NOT licensed, so this means no more CB use while driving through the State of Massachusetts.

Also GMRS would still be allowed, but FRS would not. Here's a link to the new law:

CB, FRS, MURS, 900MHz ISM, etc are "license by rule" by the FCC. Follow the rules for those radio services and you are "licensed" by the FCC, and OK under this law.
 

mmckenna

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As per usual... Legislators trying to legislate that which they know nothing about! :rolleyes:
I think they did a pretty good job. It's much better than people that are too stupid to understand that focusing on a cell phone while driving is a bad idea.

And I don't care what hams/CB'ers/GMRS'ers think, I have a hard time with a hobby radio service having an exemption. Hobbyists have no special need to earn a waiver, no special training, no special skills that make their distractions OK over others. Holding a microphone in one hand and the steering wheel with the other is usually OK. Fiddling with the radio while driving, isn't.
 

a417

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IANAL, but it seems to be a cut and dry that an aforementioned "licensed-by-rule" people are fine, but the "Zello, ptt over LTE, VOIP crowd" would have a bigger battle on their hands...as there are a couple of mentions of the "devices that may connect to the internet" clause that would tie them up.
 

DaveJacobsen

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If the rule is written the way the OP posted, get a gmrs license (which is a federal license for two way radio) and talk on the cb.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Until February of 2020, I did not know of any Distracted Driving laws that banned the use of CB Radios. CB Radios have piggy-backed on Ham Radio exemptions throughout the Distracted Driving law restrictions--until now.

In February 2020 Massachusetts Distracted Driving law went into effect that only has exemptions for "Federally Licensed" 2-way radio operators. CB's are NOT licensed, so this means no more CB use while driving through the State of Massachusetts.

Also GMRS would still be allowed, but FRS would not. Here's a link to the new law:

Massachusetts Distracted Driving Law As Applied to Ham Radio Operation | Barnstable Amateur Radio Club
CB and FRS are "licensed by rule" according to FCC your operation of those services are indeed "licensed". If you were to use a modified CB radio or ham radio on the CB band, the FCC can and has fined folks for "unlicensed operation".
 

Citywide173

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Until February of 2020, I did not know of any Distracted Driving laws that banned the use of CB Radios. CB Radios have piggy-backed on Ham Radio exemptions throughout the Distracted Driving law restrictions--until now.

In February 2020 Massachusetts Distracted Driving law went into effect that only has exemptions for "Federally Licensed" 2-way radio operators. CB's are NOT licensed, so this means no more CB use while driving through the State of Massachusetts.

Also GMRS would still be allowed, but FRS would not. Here's a link to the new law:

Massachusetts Distracted Driving Law As Applied to Ham Radio Operation | Barnstable Amateur Radio Club
Perhaps reading the actual law instead of referring to a third party interpretation would provide more insight. The law, as written, does not ban the use of CB radios, which you are automatically licensed by the FCC for under license by rule. That is, of course until you do something outside the rules, which voids your "license"

The bill was very poorly written in the beginning. It only exempted police and fire specifically. I had many conversations with my State rep, State Senator and the reps and senators that represent the area I work in, both as an EMS Captain and a licensed amateur to get things reworded before the final bill went to the Governor.

I also notice that the OP hasn't partaken in the conversation....perhaps we're being trolled
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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I still have visions from many decades ago, a Des Plaines IL police car full lights and siren going, making a wide and wild right turn from my left, heading straight at me, my lane, wrong way, while the officer grappled for his mike and clipboard sliding on the dashboard.
 

alcahuete

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Emergency services folks have no special training either. Just years of practice. There is no special training that can teach you how to multi-task (well...there's really no such thing, but that's for the Psychology forum). It's something your brain has to learn through practice. Do they have more practice using a radio and driving than an average civilian? I don't know...maybe. Vs. say a long distance truck driver, or some ham radio operators who love talking about their bowels for 12 hours straight while driving wherever, I doubt it.

These distracted driving laws are an attempt to generate revenue, while providing some sort of false war on the distracted driver front. Scientists have proven over and over and over again that it is not holding a device or fiddling with a device, it's simply the act of holding a conversation, listening to the radio, etc. Even holding a conversation with other passengers is just as unsafe, statistically.

If you're looking to prevent texting (which is also indeed very unsafe), then you make exceptions for anything that isn't a cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc., i.e. two-way radios. You can't say that hands-free is okay, yet talking on a ham radio while holding the microphone is not, because statistically, there is no difference.
 

KK4JUG

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Emergency services folks have no special training either. Just years of practice. There is no special training that can teach you how to multi-task (well...there's really no such thing, but that's for the Psychology forum). It's something your brain has to learn through practice. Do they have more practice using a radio and driving than an average civilian? I don't know...maybe. Vs. say a long distance truck driver, or some ham radio operators who love talking about their bowels for 12 hours straight while driving wherever, I doubt it.

These distracted driving laws are an attempt to generate revenue, while providing some sort of false war on the distracted driver front. Scientists have proven over and over and over again that it is not holding a device or fiddling with a device, it's simply the act of holding a conversation, listening to the radio, etc. Even holding a conversation with other passengers is just as unsafe, statistically.

If you're looking to prevent texting (which is also indeed very unsafe), then you make exceptions for anything that isn't a cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc., i.e. two-way radios. You can't say that hands-free is okay, yet talking on a ham radio while holding the microphone is not, because statistically, there is no difference.
The number of vehicles with 2-way radios is negligible compared to the number of people in vehicles with cell phones and the phones do so much more, such asorder a pizza, check the weather, check your email, check your heart rate, check your bank balance, etc.) All of those things take up more of one's attention than just talking.
 
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