ky mobile laws

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babyreb

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what are the laws for mobile scanners i live in michgan and have a pemit from the msp i visit ky once a year in pulaski co / nancy and need to know if is leagle to carry in a car or if you need a permit and how to get one
 

KR4BD

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In short, it is my understanding that it is illegal to have a scanner in your car in Kentucky UNLESS you fall into one of the following categories:

1. You are an active member of the news media
2. You hold a valid Amateur (Ham) Radio License
3. You work for a towing agency
4. You are an active Law Enforcement or Fire Employee

As a ham radio operator, I carry a copy of a letter which was distributed by the KY State Police to ham radio operators several years ago to show to law enforcement personnel in the event they want to cite me for having a scanner in my car.

Years ago, I heard of instances where scanners were confiscated and even destroyed, on the spot, by law enforcement officials. And, of course, like most states, if you are involved in criminal activity in KY while using a scanner, you can expect to have the book thrown at you.
 

kc4jgc

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Tom, is there a place on line where (or any other way) I can get a copy of this letter?
I drive a truck /w ham gear & a scanner aboard; I occaisionally deliver in eastern KY.

Thanks,
Steve
 

KR4BD

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I will attempt to post a copy of the letter I have here. In the past, I have tried to do attachment but never had any success. The letter I have was widely circulated to BARS members (Bluegrass Amateur Radio Society in Lexington) back in 1993.

Anyway, I will try to attach it here.
 

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mastr

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A bit off topic, but please it is worth noting that this covers radios capable of "reception" only. A ham call sign will probably not help you if your ham radio has been modified to transmit outside of the ham bands, or you have a commercial unit such as a Motorola or GE mobile is "capable" of transmission on other than ham frequencies.
 

KR4BD

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My radios are NOT modified to transmit outside the ham bands. The hams I know understand the consequences of breaking the law when they transmit on frequencies not authorized for amateur use.
 

BigDog-911

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In reference to the scanner law in the state of Kentucky. The state does not officially recognize a volunteer or paid firefighter as being able to have a scanner in the vehicle with the ability to monitor Law Enforcement channels.

A local volunteer asst chief was pulled over for speeding in a fully marked, official registrationed fire vehicle, had his scanner confiscated and destroyed on the spot not too long ago. This is truly the exception to most Law Enforcement but it did occur.

Just food for thought.


D
 

mastr

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KR4BD-No offense meant, if my statement doesn't apply to your situation, I ask that you simply disregard it. Obviously you and your associates surely are responsible radio users, since you make sure that I know your radios are NOT modified. As you have elected to leave your radios unmodified (for out of band TX), you might be aware that technically the use of a "ham" radio on public safety frequencies is illegal under federal law (type acceptance issues), except in emergency circumstances.

What I'm getting at, for those readers who aren't as technically savvy as yourself, is that while Kentucky is generally "ham friendly" as far as radios are concerned, there are federal laws other than Kentucky's KRS 432.570 that can apply if you have TX capability outside of the ham bands. It is also worth noting that KRS 432.570 does not require a conviction to confiscate or destroy equipment, and as KF4KTJ mentioned some people tend to enforce it more literally than others.

check this portion out--

"It shall be the duty of any and all peace officers to seize and hold for evidence any
and all equipment had or used in violation of the provisions of this section, and,
upon conviction of the person having, equipping or using such equipment, it shall
be the duty of the trial court to order such equipment or apparatus destroyed,
forfeited, or escheated to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and said property may
be ordered destroyed, forfeited, or escheated as above provided without a conviction
of the person charged with violating this section."


For my part, I don't care if you can transmit from "DC to daylight" as long as it doesn't cause problems for me and my associates.
 

ofd8001

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Kentucky Scanner Law

The following is a link to the actual text of the state law. It is a rather "wordy" law.

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/432-00/570.PDF

The scanner law was amended back in 2000.

The short answer for the guy from Michigan driving through Kentucky is this. If you want to monitor a police channel, you will need a letter of authorization from each police chief whose frequency you want to monitor. You could also get an FCC amateur license and be legal. Lastly, if you drove a wrecker, then you might be legal.

The above was one of the changes made in the 2000 revision. The other change was to allow firefighters and EMS folks the ability to have a scanner in their personal vehicles. If they have written authorization from their agency heads, then they can monitor fire and EMS frequencies, but not police.

As far as the volunteer assistant fire chief getting his scanner destroyed on the spot by the cops, that might be an interesting story. First, and this is no slam to the good police folks, cops are human and they ain't any more perfect than the rest of us. Thus they can make a mistake and I think one was made.

First, the law is pretty clear. The scanner was supposed to be held for evidence, and only the court could direct the destruction after a conviction.

Second the law says: "It shall be unlawful for any car, automobile, or other vehicle other than one publicly owned and entitled to an official license plate issued by the state issuing a license for the car, to have, or be equipped with the sets or apparatus even though the car is owned by an officer."

It looks to me like if the car was owned by the fire department and had an official license plate, a scanner was legal.

If I was the guy, I'd be asking for a new scanner.

There's a real interesting thing that I don't has received much attention lately. What about trunked public safety systems? All the frequencies that are used by the fire department are also the ones used by the police. So wouldn't every firefighter who was issued a trunked portable radio be in technical violation of the law if he had the radio in his private vehicle? Kinda gets you wondering doesn't it?
 

mastr

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ofd8001- I believe that you are you are correct in saying that there would be a technical violation, however if the FD stays within its own talkgroup (both TX and RX) I don't think a reasonable person would feel compelled to take action. I know of one PD that has employed 27mhz CB for occasional tactical use; 432.570 if literally translated makes it illegal for most people to listen to that communication as well. The language could use some technical "proofreading" IMHO.
 
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firemedic2150

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Steve,
You stated you drive a truck, what you might want to watch out for is that the that laws for commercial vehicles do not allow scanners at all and to the best of my memory they do not have the exclusions. I dont know how the conflict of a legal scanner for a Amateur will do with the KVE during a commerical vehicle situation.

Mark Mc.
 

firemedic2150

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KF4KTJ said:
had his scanner confiscated and destroyed on the spot not too long ago.
The law does not allow for the destruction of the scanner, it must be taken and held as evidence for the court. If after the trail the judge finds against you then it becomes property of the citeing agency, that is how we got several of our scanners.

Mark Mc.
 

BigDog-911

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This was done by an overzealous officer who, I am not 100% sure, is not with the department any longer but not because of this.

Everyone's interpretation of the law is different. Not right or wrong, just different. If you are travelling through Kentucky with a scanner, just don't anything to get pulled over and you don't have anything to worry about.

Have a good day... :)
 

unitcharlie

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Reread the last phrase in paragraph 3:

(3) It shall be the duty of any and all peace officers to seize and hold for evidence any and all equipment had or used in violation of the provisions of this section, and, upon conviction of the person having, equipping or using such equipment, it shall be the duty of the trial court to order such equipment or apparatus destroyed, forfeited, or escheated to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and said property may be ordered destroyed, forfeited, or escheated as above provided without a conviction of the person charged with violating this section.

It is a strange law.... I know of a media type who, while "on-duty" per the Attorney General's Opinion, almost lost his scanner because that isn't dealt with at the Academy. The LEO was intent upon taking his scanner away until he pulled out a copy of the law... this same LEO was taking scanners from Volunteer Fire Fighters as well because of the quirk pointed out by ofd8001

Cover yourself, get a ham ticket.... carry a copy of the law in your car with your insurance card , you FCC ticket and registration...
 

ofd8001

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Law was even stranger

Before the KY scanner law was modified a couple of years ago, the following scenario could have happened. Imagine a drunk driver crashed his vehicle into something and a fire ensued.

The responding cops could listen to the radio traffic in their vehicle.

The media crew that was going to report the story could listen from their vehicle.

The wrecker driver that was going to haul what was left over could listen to the incident.

The county attorney that was going to prosecute the driver could listen to the incident in his vehicle.

None of the above could completely do their jobs until the firefighters put the fire out. Guess who was prohibited from listening to the incident in his vehicle?

But, then again, I've never heard anyone promise that all laws would make perfect sense.
 

kc4jgc

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firemedic2150 said:
Steve,
You stated you drive a truck, what you might want to watch out for is that the that laws for commercial vehicles do not allow scanners at all and to the best of my memory they do not have the exclusions. I dont know how the conflict of a legal scanner for a Amateur will do with the KVE during a commerical vehicle situation.
I know that is the situation with radar detectors nationwide (no, I don't have one); but I have not heard of one for scanners. Are you saying this is specifically a KY law or is this a federal law as far as CMV's are concerned? Not that it would keep me from carrying one, could you point me to the regulation to which you refer?

The only thing I use it for on the road is to avoid traffic stoppages due to accidents & work zones. If that's a violation, so be it! My truck is governed to 65 mph; no way I'll be speeding....

I try to be as smooth a driver as I can; not attracting any attention to myself: That being said I have subcribed to the same theory as KF4KTJ for quite some time.

If you are travelling through Kentucky (or ANY state, for that matter. [jgc]) with a scanner, just don't anything to get pulled over and you don't have anything to worry about.
BTW Tom, as you can tell the attachment made it this time & was able to print it. A bit fuzzy, but readable. Your copy is probably just as fuzzy. Thanks!

73,
 

KR4BD

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Steve (and others)

Sorry for the fuzzy attachment. My copy is actually quite legible. I have a high quality scanner but the problem was the file size was too large to be accepted. I kept reducing the size (and therefore, down went the quality) until it reached a point that this site would accept it.
 

mmartinfan

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OK ?'s for all you KY State laws person

Ok so I guess I can not have it in a car. What about on my person. I will be at Cinncy North Ky Airport in 2 weeks and would like to listen to the aircraft while on the hill on the east side of the airport, am I allowed to have it there if its not in the car and in my photo bag?

I do not have a HAM license nor am I a media person (thank God)
 

radioscan

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ky scanner laws

In paragraph (1) it states you may not be in possession of one. So that would include
having one on your person as well.

Mark
 
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