This news was originally written and posted on the Eastern MA ARRL website.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday “proposed his most sweeping set of road safety rules yet, calling for Massachusetts to join 16 other states in requiring hands-free cell phone use while driving and proposing to allow police to stop motorists for not wearing a seat belt,” according to Boston’s PBS station, WGBH.
Various pieces of “hands-free” cell phone legislation have been introduced in recent years by members of the State House and Senate and while some have included clear exemptions for Amateur Radio operators, others have been vague or non-existent on the matter.
Eastern MA State Government Liaison Hank McCarl, W4RIG, quickly alerted ARRL section and division leadership about the proposed legislation.
McCarl reports he has already spoken with his State Senator’s office legislative assistant about the ARRL’s concerns regarding the wording of proposed legislation on hand held cell phones while driving. They “will keep a close eye on the wording of that legislation and let us know if there seems to be any problems for our mobile operations as licensed amateurs in community service or training,” McCarl said.
ARRL Headquarters Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1NC was also notified of the proposed legislation by Eastern MA Section Manager Tom Walsh, K1TW.
Details about Baker’s proposed hands-free cell phone and other road safety rules can be found at <https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2019/01/22/baker-proposes-hand-free-cell-phone-driving-bill>.