Hams in Hawaii have just won an exemption from mobile cellular phone legislation passed by the City and County of Honolulu.
As you can see, the hams in Hawaii launched an all-out coordinated effort to convince politicians to grant amateur radio mobile use the exemption.
Here in Ontario, Bill 118 had its third reading in the Legislature yesterday and now is back in the hands of staff who will be determining if exemptions are warranted here in Ontario.
In addition to amateur radio mobile operation, other large-scale commercial users such as delivery companies, trucking associations, taxi companies and even CBers are all likely to be working with ministry staff to secure exemptions for their mobile operations.
So the situation in Ontario is somewhat different than the one in Hawaii. Right now, representatives of Radio Amateurs of Canada are in direct communications with ministry staff.
We are advised that consultation between ministry staff and representatives of affected groups will not take place for at least a month or more.
If, after consultation, exemptions are excluded from Bill 118 then RAC may recommend more direct action. However at this time such action is both not recommended but is likely to prove counterproductive.
Here’s the Hawaii story which comes from the Ham Radio Hawaii list for Ham events in Hawaii. Here is their website: http://aditl.com/ham/
Bill 4, the mobile cellular phone legislation for the City and County of
Honolulu passed Third Reading today, and has passed out of the Council.
What was key for hams is the exemption of amateur radio from the effects of this Bill. Per Major Nitta, the representative from the Honolulu Police Department, the Mayor will sign this bill into law. The effective date will be July 1.
This bill is significant, because it addresses the issue of traffic
safety, but does not diminish amateur radio in the course of this
legislation. To my knowledge, it sets precedence in Hawaii that a piece
of legislation supports amateur radio.
There are many amateur radio operators that contributed to the success of this effort. You can see many of their letters of testimony on the City Council Web Site.
And, we need to thank each member of the Council for their support of
amateur radio. A letter or email would be appreciated. The sole Council member that opposed the Bill did not do so to oppose
amateur radio, but rather to oppose the nature of the infraction being
"holding an electronic device". We should still thank Council Chair Apo
for his effort and his support of amateur radio.
Among the amateurs vital to this effort were:
* Bart WH6AA and Ann KH6W for teaching us about the legislative
process, and how to write effective testimonial letters.
* Wayne KH6MEI for securing contact with Transportation/Planning
Committee Chairperson Gary Okino, and arranging a very productive meeting.
* Kimo KH7U for contributing to that productive meeting.
* Gordon KH6GL Bev AH6NF, Kevin AH6QO, Zeph N7WAP, and Bob NH6XO for providing continuity in attendance and coverage of the discussion at the public meetings.
* Clem KH7HO, Harold KH6HB, Ray AH6LT for additional insights and
The Hawaii County Council is currently working with a draft equivalent
to Bill 4, CD1 which is one version behind Bill 4, CD2 FD1 and therefore
lacks the exemption for amateur radio. The next few weeks will be
important for the Big Island for testimony and education of their
Council members. Updates will be posted on this web page.
Ron Hashiro, AH6RH