Pennsylvania House Bill 37 was amended on January 14, removing existing exemptions for Amateur Radio (and other licensed radio service) mobile use by drivers of motor vehicles. The bill is an effort to revise existing Motor Vehicle statutes and expand the definition of distracted driving to include the use of interactive communication devices while operating a vehicle.
This morning ARRL elected officials were in conference with the staff of the PA Senate Transportation Committee, which has received the bill for consideration later this year. Participants included Western Pennsylvania Section Manager Joe Shupienis W3BC, Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager George Miller W3GWM, Eastern Pennsylvania Section Emergency Coordinator W. T. Jones WN3LIF, Atlantic Division Vice-Director Bob Famiglio K3RF, Jay Silber WA2UAR, and the PA Senate Transportation Committee Executive Director and staff.
During the brief meeting, Atlantic Division Vice-Director Bob Famiglio K3RF suggested the importance of licensed amateur radio mobile communications during emergencies and other public service activities. It was suggested that the removal of these amateur radio privileges was an unintended consequence of the bill as it now stands.
The legislative staff encouraged us to prepare appropriate wording to correct the omission, for inclusion in the final Senate Bill being considered later this year.
An official press release will be issued later today.