In published news reports today, Ontario Transport Minister Jim Bradley says that Ontario’s Bill 118 (the distracted driving Bill) will be in effect by the end of October. The National Post reports that Bill 118 will “make it illegal to talk, text or email on any handheld device while driving.”
Despite numerous meetings, telephone conversations and emails over a six-month period, Ministry officials and staff have yet to clarify if Bill 118 will affect the use of two-way radio transmitters and have offered no definition of a “handheld device”.
Radio Amateurs of Canada has consistently requested those amateurs in Ontario who are concerned with the possible impact of Bill 118 to work with their local MPPs to understand how the operation of two-way radios is different from the use of cellphones. Information has been provided to government officials concerning the long history of public service by volunteer amateur radio operators who are members of ARES and CANWARN among other service groups and clubs.