RAC Bulletin 2011-024E - RAC Task Force to Seek an Exemption for Ontario Amateurs.

At its Annual General Meeting in St. John's, Newfoundland, Radio Amateurs of Canada announced that a task force has been formed to seek a permanent exemption for Ontario Amateurs from the ban on operating mobile devices in a vehicle under Article 5 in Ontario Regulation 366/09 made under the Highway Traffic Act. It is also commonly known as the Distracted Driving Legislation. The ban would take effect on January 1, 2013.

The task force is composed of Steve Pengelly, VE3STV, Former Honorary Legal Counsel, Ian Snow, VA3QT, Special Advisor to RAC, Jeff Stewart, VA3WXM, Southern Ontario Regional Director, Marcel Mongeon, Honorary Legal Counsel, VA3DDD, Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW, President and Chair RAC, and ex officio to the Task Force. It is chaired by Bill Unger, VE3XT, Ontario North/East Director.

The Task Force has already obtained letters of support from groups that we assist ranging from hospitals, communities, agencies and NGO's. All of the letters indicate that limiting Radio Amateurs. ability to provide communications while mobile would not be in the Ontario's best interests. If you would like to submit a letter of support from an external group to the RAC Task Force, please contact the chair Bill Unger.

The Task Force will present the letters as part of our case to Kathleen Wynne, Ontario.s Minister of Transportation, that Amateur Radio operators in Ontario should be exempt from this regulation. The objective of the Distracted Driving Task Force is to convince the Ontario Government that the regulation, as currently written, will actually decrease public safety in Ontario.

Amateur Radio Operators provide countless hours of public service work in their communities and by doing so we are prepared to assist with communications in the event of an overload or total failure or the existing telecommunications infrastructure. The change in the regulations that RAC will request, would align Ontario with seven other provinces and one territory that have introduced exemptions which allow Amateurs to operate while mobile.

The RAC Task Force will shortly initiate discussions with officials in the Minister's Office on the need for this regulatory change. Information on the progress will be updated through the RAC Bulletin system, TCA or the RAC Report. If you are interested in assisting please contact Bill Unger, VE3XT at [email protected]

Bill Unger, VE3XT
RAC Director - Ontario North/East
Chair: Task Force - Distracted Driving Legislation/Bill 118

RAC seeks permanent exemption from Distracted Driving Legislation for Ontario Amateurs