Tuesday, 03 May 2016 22:59

Amateur Radio and Driving Safety

We are all aware we have to show respect to radio as it pertains to radio frequency burns and tower safety, but how much do we consider how Amateur Radio impacts our driving? In recent months we have heard a lot about Missouri and their distracted driving laws. Illinois has also been in the news with the Amateur Radio Parity Act being proposed by Illinois Representative Kinzinger. The ARRL has been actively following these items in both the state and federal arenas, but what should we be doing? My 2nd suggestion to you is to follow the politics in your state and know what has impact on you, whether it is radio-related or not.  

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Now my FIRST suggestion to you is drive safely. Operate your radio safely at all times, in the field, in the shack, or in the car. We must show our respect for the safety of ourselves and others while we are operating our hobby. I was listening to a QSO the other day while in the car and heard a mobile station state to a home station he was going to be off the air for a bit while he was approaching traffic. This is what I would love to hear more often. We need to recognize that our primary objective while operating mobile is the driving. Amateur Radio is the “secondary allocation.” We are used to this term. It is in our first two tests of Amateur Radio. Let’s focus on making radio safe and fun for us at all times, and not a distraction when we cannot afford it. The roads are busy and we all know that we see drivers texting and operating their phones behind the wheel. We need to make sure there is a difference between our radio use and their distracted driving. <  If you are driving and come up to a situation where you should focus more on driving, then get off the radio and listen to the rag chew for a little while. If you are talking with someone who is mobile, realize their lack of a quick response could be they are just demonstrating safe operating practices as it applies to running mobile. For those of us who do operate mobile, please be safe about it and smart.   Another way to help with Amateur Radio and various legislation issues is to join the ARRL. I mentioned them earlier, and you need to realize that the ARRL does monitor what is going on in politics and they lobby on your behalf to make sure your hobby can continue to be a thing of enjoyment and camaraderie. All you have to do to see what the ARRL is doing for you is to go to their website and click on the Regulatory & Advocacy section.   Finally, I want to encourage all Amateur Radio operators to remember that the more the public sees us performing public service communications, the more they will remember us in a good light as these bits of legislation come through the political arenas.  73 to you, and have fun with your mobile transmissions. Just be safe about them.

Bill Carroll


SLSRC President

Read 2949 times Last modified on Sunday, 29 May 2016 15:59

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