My thoughts on HB-37 - Comment from K3RF


Mark Hinkel
 




-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Hinkel <mrhinkel@...>
To: mrhinkel <mrhinkel@...>
Sent: Sat, Jan 25, 2020 2:07 pm
Subject: Fwd: My thoughts on HB-37

I stand corrected...

Bob (K3RF -- ARRL Atlantic Division Vice Director) tell us that exception #2 applies ONLY to "built-in" units as the car or truck is manufactured.  ie: Bluetooth or similar devices that allow hands-free calling while driving.  He tells me that exception #2 does NOT apply to dash mounted 2-way radios.

Bob recognizes that distracted driving or cell phone use while driving is a BIG PROBLEM.  Bob has been a fire fighter for a long time and sees this every day.  See below...  I am not including the two pics that Bob forwarded, they are horrific.  These were taken by a reporter moments after a daytime crash in which Bob was one of the first responders.  I don't see how anyone could escape the flames...  texting and driving is suspected.

I personally (and publicly) wish to thank Bob for his involvement with HB-37 and his efforts in getting the language of the new law changed to favor amateur radio in general.  I will write my state senator an email and include Bob's name as an advocate.  Bob is an attorney working on radio related issues and should be able/allowed to speak for all of us ham radio operators.

Mark  WA3QVU


-----Original Message-----
From: Robert B. Famiglio, Esq. <RBFamiglio@...>
To: 'Mark Hinkel' <mrhinkel@...>; k3rf <k3rf@...>
Sent: Fri, Jan 24, 2020 11:54 pm
Subject: RE: My thoughts on HB-37

No, it means a telephone system built into the dash board controls to dial and answer without the need to hold anything to look at it or use it.  Many new cars have that standard now. One clarification I want in language is the definition of that and to improve the clarity that a hand held microphone is allowed.  It is not now within this change.  That is why the exception for 2-way and CB radios in commercial vehicles is there.  Otherwise it would not be required as an exception. That will be a problem for hams unless defined.  I am working hard on the language and have appointments next week with elected officials.
 
I do agree about the distraction problem.  I am a firefighter & vehicle rescue tech – captain of my company now.  I go to many accidents caused by texting or looking at a cell phone to find a number or whatever.  We all see it every day.  The attached is just one example captured in a photo taken by a reporter passing by.  That is me crouched down on the nozzle. Cell phone use is suspected in this head-on on a clear day around a curve.  Serious injuries.  So, your observations are appropriate.  BTW, we carry handheld radios in our private cars responding as firefighters and we will not be exempt until we get to our station or the scene.  Think about that.  Emergency responders need a more powerful exemption to use their radios too other than at the fire.  It’s always something.
 
 
Bob Famiglio, K3RF
Vice Director - ARRL Atlantic Division
610-359-7300
 
www.QRZ.com/db/K3RF
 
 
 
 
 
From: Mark Hinkel
Sent: Friday, January 24, 2020 11:11 PM
To: k3rf@...
Subject: Fwd: My thoughts on HB-37
 
FYI...
 
Am I correct to say that a 2-way mobile radio mounted in or under the dash is "Physically integrated into the vehicle"..??

Mark  WA3QVU
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Hinkel <mrhinkel@...>
To: mrhinkel <mrhinkel@...>
Sent: Fri, Jan 24, 2020 10:56 pm
Subject: My thoughts on HB-37
I sure most of you will not like what I have to say about HB-37, but here goes...
 
Number one involves something no amateur radio operator has control of;  that is the use of a hand held cell phone or smart phone by the public.  State law is cracking down on those who use them while driving and there is almost nothing we can do about that.  One of our local hams (Evan WE3E) is EMS and now chief at a local suburban Philadelphia ambulance squad.  I just asked him how many accidents they had in his township and how many people his crew carried off to the hospital "as a result of" driving while distracted and using a cell phone?  He said we don't keep track of that data but he has witnessed a few and one resulted in a fatality.  So we all know this is a serious issue and our state legislature is trying to get a handle on it.
 
While the old state law exempts use of hand held radios by amateur radio operators, we see that line and almost all of several paragraphs are now a strike out.  (no longer to be included)  However, the new law as written will include radios and Bluetooth devices that are "Physically or Electronically integrated into the vehicle".  See below....
 
This law will mandate use of mobile radios mounted in the car and eliminate use of hand held radios / hand held cell phones by the driver.  If you intend to use your phone in an older car without "built-in" Bluetooth you must buy one of those gadgets that includes a Bluetooth speaker and typically mounts the smart phone high enough so you don't need to take your eyes of the road.
 
Personally I don't think that's too tough on those of us who talk on the radio while driving home during rush hour traffic.  Don't get me wrong, I DO think it's an infringement on our Fcc rights.  But feel it's something we can certainly live with. 
 
Pennsylvania HB-37;
 
( I ) Definitions -- Page 12 -- line 25;
The term DOES NOT include any of the following;
(1) A device that functions exclusively as a global positioning or navigation system;
(2) A system or device that is physically or electronically integrated into a vehicle, unless connected connected to a vehicle solely for the purpose of charging the system or device.
 
 
Mark  WA3QVU
 
 
PS:
I like Eric Christensen (WG3K) email on the subject.  Eric and his young son came up to Gordon's estate two years ago and picked up the BC-348 receiver.  Eric was an ARRL appointed EC in his area and is very level headed.  Let's heed his suggestions before we go off half cocked.

I'd suggest that before you go forward with your six points of how great
Amateur Radio is, I'd look back at the list and see how many of them
address the safety of using these radios in a moving vehicle as that
seems to be crux of the bill.  It's all great that we provide all of
these services for free, but you haven't addressed why we must provide
these services while rolling down the road (particularly while using a
hand-held radio as is being changed here).

I believe there was a study, published a few years ago, where it was
noted that two-way radios were completely different from using cellular
telephones with how our brains functioned while using them  If I
remember correctly, it was suggested that it was safer to use a two-way
radio than a cellular telephone.  If someone is trying to conflate that
use of a cellular telephone is the same as a two-way radio, then you
might be able to argue otherwise.  However, if someone is arguing that
using a portable radio requires holding the radio close to your head to
hear it and to talk into it thus not allowing two hands on the wheel...
well, they might have a point.

My point being, we look far more educated and persuasive going to law
makers when we address the specific grievance at hand instead of always
saying how great we are and using that as a crutch of why everyone
should just let us do whatever we want.  It doesn't make sense and
doesn't make us look very credible.

73,
Eric WG3K
 


Jim McCusker (K3YO)
 

This is a good discussion, especially regarding the safety issues of using a handheld radio while driving.  I've recently been seriously considering the Vero VR-N7500 bluetooth radio which integrates into my cars bluetooth and can be used similarly to a hands free cell phone.  The only issue I see is whether the bluetooth PTT button (which you attach to steering wheel) would cause a problem.  I like this radio because it can be mounted in my trunk (Where my battery is) and only requires connection to the battery and antenna. It seems like the bluetooth integration would exempt this radio from the ban, but I don't know about the PTT button.  


73, Jim KC3FFX 


On Sat, Jan 25, 2020 at 2:13 PM Mark Hinkel via Groups.Io <mrhinkel=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:



-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Hinkel <mrhinkel@...>
To: mrhinkel <mrhinkel@...>
Sent: Sat, Jan 25, 2020 2:07 pm
Subject: Fwd: My thoughts on HB-37

I stand corrected...

Bob (K3RF -- ARRL Atlantic Division Vice Director) tell us that exception #2 applies ONLY to "built-in" units as the car or truck is manufactured.  ie: Bluetooth or similar devices that allow hands-free calling while driving.  He tells me that exception #2 does NOT apply to dash mounted 2-way radios.

Bob recognizes that distracted driving or cell phone use while driving is a BIG PROBLEM.  Bob has been a fire fighter for a long time and sees this every day.  See below...  I am not including the two pics that Bob forwarded, they are horrific.  These were taken by a reporter moments after a daytime crash in which Bob was one of the first responders.  I don't see how anyone could escape the flames...  texting and driving is suspected.

I personally (and publicly) wish to thank Bob for his involvement with HB-37 and his efforts in getting the language of the new law changed to favor amateur radio in general.  I will write my state senator an email and include Bob's name as an advocate.  Bob is an attorney working on radio related issues and should be able/allowed to speak for all of us ham radio operators.

Mark  WA3QVU


-----Original Message-----
From: Robert B. Famiglio, Esq. <RBFamiglio@...>
To: 'Mark Hinkel' <mrhinkel@...>; k3rf <k3rf@...>
Sent: Fri, Jan 24, 2020 11:54 pm
Subject: RE: My thoughts on HB-37

No, it means a telephone system built into the dash board controls to dial and answer without the need to hold anything to look at it or use it.  Many new cars have that standard now. One clarification I want in language is the definition of that and to improve the clarity that a hand held microphone is allowed.  It is not now within this change.  That is why the exception for 2-way and CB radios in commercial vehicles is there.  Otherwise it would not be required as an exception. That will be a problem for hams unless defined.  I am working hard on the language and have appointments next week with elected officials.
 
I do agree about the distraction problem.  I am a firefighter & vehicle rescue tech – captain of my company now.  I go to many accidents caused by texting or looking at a cell phone to find a number or whatever.  We all see it every day.  The attached is just one example captured in a photo taken by a reporter passing by.  That is me crouched down on the nozzle. Cell phone use is suspected in this head-on on a clear day around a curve.  Serious injuries.  So, your observations are appropriate.  BTW, we carry handheld radios in our private cars responding as firefighters and we will not be exempt until we get to our station or the scene.  Think about that.  Emergency responders need a more powerful exemption to use their radios too other than at the fire.  It’s always something.
 
 
Bob Famiglio, K3RF
Vice Director - ARRL Atlantic Division
610-359-7300
 
 
 
 
 
 
From: Mark Hinkel
Sent: Friday, January 24, 2020 11:11 PM
To: k3rf@...
Subject: Fwd: My thoughts on HB-37
 
FYI...
 
Am I correct to say that a 2-way mobile radio mounted in or under the dash is "Physically integrated into the vehicle"..??

Mark  WA3QVU
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Hinkel <mrhinkel@...>
To: mrhinkel <mrhinkel@...>
Sent: Fri, Jan 24, 2020 10:56 pm
Subject: My thoughts on HB-37
I sure most of you will not like what I have to say about HB-37, but here goes...
 
Number one involves something no amateur radio operator has control of;  that is the use of a hand held cell phone or smart phone by the public.  State law is cracking down on those who use them while driving and there is almost nothing we can do about that.  One of our local hams (Evan WE3E) is EMS and now chief at a local suburban Philadelphia ambulance squad.  I just asked him how many accidents they had in his township and how many people his crew carried off to the hospital "as a result of" driving while distracted and using a cell phone?  He said we don't keep track of that data but he has witnessed a few and one resulted in a fatality.  So we all know this is a serious issue and our state legislature is trying to get a handle on it.
 
While the old state law exempts use of hand held radios by amateur radio operators, we see that line and almost all of several paragraphs are now a strike out.  (no longer to be included)  However, the new law as written will include radios and Bluetooth devices that are "Physically or Electronically integrated into the vehicle".  See below....
 
This law will mandate use of mobile radios mounted in the car and eliminate use of hand held radios / hand held cell phones by the driver.  If you intend to use your phone in an older car without "built-in" Bluetooth you must buy one of those gadgets that includes a Bluetooth speaker and typically mounts the smart phone high enough so you don't need to take your eyes of the road.
 
Personally I don't think that's too tough on those of us who talk on the radio while driving home during rush hour traffic.  Don't get me wrong, I DO think it's an infringement on our Fcc rights.  But feel it's something we can certainly live with. 
 
Pennsylvania HB-37;
 
( I ) Definitions -- Page 12 -- line 25;
The term DOES NOT include any of the following;
(1) A device that functions exclusively as a global positioning or navigation system;
(2) A system or device that is physically or electronically integrated into a vehicle, unless connected connected to a vehicle solely for the purpose of charging the system or device.
 
 
Mark  WA3QVU
 
 
PS:
I like Eric Christensen (WG3K) email on the subject.  Eric and his young son came up to Gordon's estate two years ago and picked up the BC-348 receiver.  Eric was an ARRL appointed EC in his area and is very level headed.  Let's heed his suggestions before we go off half cocked.

I'd suggest that before you go forward with your six points of how great
Amateur Radio is, I'd look back at the list and see how many of them
address the safety of using these radios in a moving vehicle as that
seems to be crux of the bill.  It's all great that we provide all of
these services for free, but you haven't addressed why we must provide
these services while rolling down the road (particularly while using a
hand-held radio as is being changed here).

I believe there was a study, published a few years ago, where it was
noted that two-way radios were completely different from using cellular
telephones with how our brains functioned while using them  If I
remember correctly, it was suggested that it was safer to use a two-way
radio than a cellular telephone.  If someone is trying to conflate that
use of a cellular telephone is the same as a two-way radio, then you
might be able to argue otherwise.  However, if someone is arguing that
using a portable radio requires holding the radio close to your head to
hear it and to talk into it thus not allowing two hands on the wheel...
well, they might have a point.

My point being, we look far more educated and persuasive going to law
makers when we address the specific grievance at hand instead of always
saying how great we are and using that as a crutch of why everyone
should just let us do whatever we want.  It doesn't make sense and
doesn't make us look very credible.

73,
Eric WG3K