Cell Phone – Ham Radio Issues with authorities

27 02 2014

From Tom Cicora – ARRL Illinois Section Manager

Boys and girls: a disturbing story was relayed to me from a thoroughly credible source. One of our own was stopped in a suburban Cook County jurisdiction for supposedly using a cell phone while driving–he was on his handheld. The officer was not aware of the exemption even though our guy’s vehicle had callsign plates. The driver also produced a copy of the law…then things got weird. The officer became irate that the driver was attempting to (patiently) explain the exception. The citation was written anyway.

The bottom line here is that there is still a lot of ignorance in the field on our exemption’s place in the law. Regardless of what reality is, do not try and litigate this mess in the field. That’s what judges get paid for. If you’ve tried to explain the thing to the officer and it’s not penetrating, back off and take your day in court with the law in your hand. I’m going to do some things from the law enforcement end to push some education out to the field. In the meantime, there is nothing to be gained if you aren’t making yourself understood to the officer. Stand down, don’t make a bigger mess and see him in court.

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