Canadian Hams Exempt from New Rules

The Lindsay Post
by: Lisa Gervais, Lindsay Post Reporter
February 12,  2010

Licensed hams exempt from new rules

-Breaker breaker,The Lindsay Posthas an update on the rules for CB and amateur radio (ham) operators in the area under the new distracted driver legislation.

On Friday (Feb. 5), based on information from City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service, a Victoria-Haliburton Amateur Radio Association board member and the Ministry of Transport -we reported that CB (Citizen’s Band) and ham radio operators had to follow the new rules -meaning hands-off -under the distracted driving legislation, unless they were using their microphones for an emergency.

After a flurry of e-mails since then, we can now report that everything we said about CBs was true. Users have to safely pull over to the side of the road to use them, unless in an emergency.

However, the same rule does not apply for amateur (ham) radio operators.

They are exempt for three years (until Jan. 1, 2013) if they have a valid radio license -no mention of emergency situations.

Thanks to those who e-mailed us about the issue and our apologies for the mix-up.

It was also pointed out to us that their is no definitive definition for ham, which we initially reported to be an acronym standing for High Altitude Modulation.

Nigel Johnson, director of the Toronto FM Communications Society, said the leading theory is that it was coined in Washington after the initials of the surnames of the first lobbyists for regulatory approval. The M is for Hiram Percy Maxim, the founder of the American Radio Relay League.