RAC recommends action on Bill 118

After consultation with other affected groups and following discussions with Ontario Ministry of Transportation staff Radio Amateurs of Canada is recommending that all interested amateur radio operators offer their comments to the possible impact that Bill 118 (the anti-cell-phone-while-driving Bill) could have on amateur radio use in moving vehicles.

The web address to read the Bill as it stands today is http://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/quickSearch.do?searchType=current

At the bottom of that page is a link to a comments page.

We would like to remind the Ministry that the 20,000 licensed amateur radio operators who use their federally licensed mobile radio equipment were never part of the problem.

We’d also like to remind the Ministry that curtailing the use of mobile two-way radio transceivers by amateur radio operators and other two-way radio mobile users will in no way solve the problem of distracted drivers using their cell phones.

We would encourage all amateurs to offer the Ministry their clear and concise comments about how they have served their local communities, regions and the province through their use of amateur radio.

Supporting documents already sent to the Minister of Transport are available upon request to ve3hg@rac.ca (I will respond to e-mails sent over the weekend on Monday, June 8th).

We would ask that you alert your fellow amateur radio operators in your clubs, associations and communities to this issue and urge them to take immediate action by sending their comments to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

2 Responses to “RAC recommends action on Bill 118”

  • Len Wiltenburg VA3BFD

    I provided these comments via the Service Ontario website:

    The legislation does not make any mention of two-way radio communication devices other than cellular telephones. While it is clear that the intention of the legislation is directed towards the use of cellular phones and other consumer electronics devices that can distract a driver, the legislation is otherwise silent on the use of federally licensed telecommunications devices such as two way hand-held and mobile radios as well as unlicensed two-way radios such as those in the Family Radio Service (FRS). As a licensed amateur radio operator in Canada I am afraid that this legislation can be interpreted in a way that will disallow me from using the equipment for which I am appropriately licensed by Industry Canada where there is no evidence of any reason to do so.

    Amateur radio operators in Canada and around the world not only obtain these certifications and licenses to fuel their desire to participate in this hobby, but are also an integral, respected and experienced part of emergency response and support to many emergency services organizations. There are many programs and organizations that depend on the ability of amateur radio operators to provide their services both in a fixed or mobile platform. Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), managed in Canada by the Radio Amateurs of Canada (http://www.rac.ca/fieldorg/racares.htm) have direct agreements with the Red Cross, local municipalities and the provinces to provide emergency communications when commercial and public systems cannot function. CANWARN is a program supported by Environment Canada that provides real-time ground truthing of severe weather events to Environment Canada meteorologists and no doubt has saved lives and property. Amateur radio operators around the world provide communications in times of local, regional, national or international hardships, including tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes. These are just three examples of the many great contributions that these volunteers provide to society.

    I encourage you to provide a wholesale exemption to this legislation to all amateur radio operators much as you have done for emergency services personnel as it relates toward their non-cellular phone telecommunications equipment. They are a valued service to the citizens of our country and much documentation of this can be obtained through your own government’s and other government agencies.


    Len Wiltenburg
    Industry Canada License Callsign VA3BFD
    Member of Radio Amateurs of Canada
    Blenheim, Ontario

  • Vince d'Eon VE6LK /3

    A direct link to the comments for Bill 118 can be found at http://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?postingId=1902

    73 de VE6LK/3

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