Distracted driving regulations continue to be an area of interest for many Canadian Radio Amateurs. These regulations are made and enforced by provincial governments and can vary considerably from province to province and over time. Radio Amateurs of Canada has prepared a list of links to current regulations in all provinces that have established them. They can be found at: https://www.rac.ca/distracted-driving-regulations-update/
Radio Amateurs of Canada representatives in our regions often work to clarify regulations where Amateurs may be caught up in them or when the regulations are being created or modified. A Subcommittee has been formed to monitor the legislation and work with government officials on a province by province basis to look after the interests of Canadian Amateurs. This committee is under the direction of RAC British Columbia/Yukon Director, Bill Gipps, VE7XS. Two provinces are the focus of current activity: British Columbia and Ontario.
In British Columbia, Bill Gipps, VE7XS, together with two local Amateurs, recently met with BC government representatives to discuss BC distracted driving regulations and their application to Amateur Radio. They have had three meetings to date and recently completed two excellent working sessions. The BC Amateurs are pleased with the significant progress made through these sessions and will continue to follow the process while the BC government engages other stakeholders and solicits their input. Bill anticipates that there will be more news and clarifying material available before Christmas and we will post the information on the RAC website when it is available.
In Ontario, a temporary exemption for Amateurs in Ontario is due to expire on January 1, 2018. RAC Ontario South Director Phil McBride, VA3QR and RAC North/East Director, Al Boyd, VE3AJB, have obtained letters of support from Ontario Amateurs and are looking for additional letters of support from organizations such as Amateur Radio clubs and ARES groups. They have also been in touch with the Minister of Transportation and have received word that the Ontario government is considering the Amateur Radio exemption issue.
RAC will continue to provide additional information about distracted driving regulations on the RAC website as it unfolds. If you have any questions or concerns or you would like to send a letter of support, please feel free to contact your Director at any time at the address shown on page 4 of The Canadian Amateur magazine and at: https://www.rac.ca/board-of-directors/
Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA
Radio Amateurs of Canada