[RAC-Bulletin] Distracted Driving in Canada update: Ontario considering permanent two-way radio exemption for Amateurs

Distracted Driving in Canada update: Ontario considering permanent two-way radio exemption for AmateursMinistry is seeking comments and suggestions: Deadline November 4

For immediate release:

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. In Ontario, RAC Directors Allan Boyd, VE3AJB (Ontario North/East) and Phil McBride, VA3QR (Ontario South) have been working hard on this issue.

On December 15, 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) announced that the current two-way radio exemption for “Amateur Radio operators and specified commercial, public transit, and public function drivers was extended for a further three-years until January 1, 2021.”

We are pleased to report that the Ministry is currently considering making the two-way radio exemption permanent and it has invited comments on this proposal as well as any additional suggestions or comments on how it could minimize distracted driving while supporting economic growth and prosperity in the province.

A summary of these proposals has been posted to Ontario’s Regulatory Registry Display Screens and Hand-Held Devices – Exemption Review (Posting #2019-MTO028) and can be viewed in English or French.



US Weather Channel Notes Ham Radio

The following is from the ARRL Letter

The Weather Channel Cites ‘Old School Tech’ Amateur Radio as Storm Resource:

Julio Ripoll, WD4R, Amateur Radio Assistant Coordinator of WX4NHC http://w4ehw.fiu.edu at the National Hurricane Center (NHC https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/) explained https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h47U6BlAaU0K6qEdCXjfzZZa_6HkoqBy/view Amateur Radio’s role during severe weather situations to interviewers from The Weather Channel (TWC http://www.weather.com). In a September 16 segment headlined, “Using Old School Tech During a Storm,” Ripoll — seated at WX4NHC — told Weather Channel interviewers Rick Knabb and Mike Bettes, that information NHC forecasters receive via Amateur Radio volunteers and spotters “sometimes fills in gaps they can’t get from satellites or reconnaissance.”

Knabb recounted an occasion when he was trying to pin down information about a storm system in Central America. “The only way I was able to accurately document what happened with that system in Central America was because of data through the ham radio operators that relayed it,” he told Ripoll.

Ripoll cited the WX4NHC volunteer staff of approximately 30 radio amateurs who gather and essentially screen information gathered via Amateur Radio for weather data that may be of use to forecasters.

Over the weekend, Ripoll expressed appreciation to WX4NHC, Hurricane Watch Net, and VoIP Hurricane Net volunteers for the time they donate during hurricanes and the reports they send to WX4NHC.

“Sometimes, we sit for hours listening to static. Sometimes, we receive many reports that are unremarkable. Sometimes, we receive very few reports. But then there are those times that one or two reports make a difference,” Ripoll said. He noted that NHC Hurricane Specialist Stacy Stewart cited Amateur Radio in a Hurricane Humberto advisory https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2019/al09/al092019.public.025.shtml?.

The advisory noted, “An Amateur Radio operator at Ports Island near the southern end of Bermuda reported a sustained wind of 75 MPH and a gust to 104 MPH during the past hour. An Amateur Radio operator in Somerset Village recently reported a sustained wind of 70 MPH and a gust to 89 MPH.” — Thanks to Julio Ripoll, WD4R

The Great BC SHAKEOUT Earthquake Drill Oct 17 2019.

COME ON As of Sept 30 2019 only two amateur radio organizations had registered for this event. This is a huge opportunity to promote emergency communications in your community. The event does not take all day. Not only can you use it to promote in your community, but it provides an opportunity to promote emergency communications with your volunteers employers. REGISTER TODAY ,