Important News for Oregon Section Amateurs.
The Oregon House Judiciary Committee has now passed House Bill 2597 to
the floor without the Amateur Radio exemption that we sought. HB 2597
has now been passed to the Speaker’s desk where it has received
it’s 2nd reading after being “carried over” three times. The
third reading is now scheduled for Monday, May 3rd but may be further
delayed. If it does come to a vote, it may well pass the House to move
over to the Senate side. In the Senate, it will be assigned to a
committee and receive additional hearings and thus additional
opportunities to get our amendment inserted back into the bill or urge
that the bill be killed. Our reading of the politics favors stopping or
amending the bill in the Senate where we have some strong support.
Important: Call to Action!
If you want to continue using your mobile radio while operating your
vehicle, you need to write, email or call your legislator now.
A few points to clarify the intent of the legislation. I urge you to
watch the video of the February 27th House Committee hearing in which I
testified so you understand the importance of this proposed legislation
and how it will affect you.
Go to the ARRL Oregon Section News page for the video link, the Oregon
Department of Transportation Distracted Driving Task Force Report and
the most recent status report from our State Government Liaison, Kevin
Curry. Please use the “talking point” on the website and get
involved. ARES and club members are encouraged to talk about this at
meeting. Get our Emergency Managers and others informed about this.
Some Notes of Interest:
HB 2597 applies to mobile electronic device defined as “an electronic
device that is not permanently installed in a motor vehicle”.
“Permanently installed” means installed by the vehicle
manufacturer. A “Mobile electronic device” includes but is not
limited to a device capable of text, messaging, voice communications,
entertainment, navigation, accessing the internet or producing
Consequently, Amateur Radio devices that you install in your vehicle
are subject to this Distracted Driving legislation, if passed into law.
In reviewing the February 27th work session video (at 49:31 into the
video), Representative Vial asked about the use of a Blue Tooth device.
My law degree is a bit rusty, but the answer seemed to be that Blue
Tooth devices MAY be allowable but the driver still could not
physically touch the connected device (radio) while driving. This needs
Finally, I meet with the Oregon Emergency Managers Association on
Tuesday, May 2nd to discuss with them how this legislation may impact
emergency communications in their Counties and urge them to become
involved in this issue.
Thank you for supporting Amateur Radio in Oregon and for writing to
Relating to the offense of operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile electronic device; declaring an emergency.
Please call Oregon State Representatives regarding house bill 2597. This legislation will make our efforts in CARES / OCARES / ARES quite difficult.
Locate your Oregon State Representative using this web site: