Massachusetts Legislation Update: H3679 Is Now H4477

MA StatehouseShawn O’Donnell, K3HI, MA State Government Liaison writes on Jan. 16, 2008 at 1145 ET:

Massachusetts Legislation Update: H3679 is now H4477

Today, the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Legislature may vote a ban on cell phone use while driving.

Yesterday, when the Joint Committee on Transportation met to discuss the cell phone restrictions, the members made significant changes to the bill. The new draft is identified as House, No. 4477. The H4477 leaves in the existing exemption for citizens band radio, but does not mention any other radio service, including amateur radio.

I know you may be tired of explaining the difference between CB and amateur radio, but now’s your chance to do it again.

The new bill’s SECTION 3 goes as follows:

SECTION 3. Section 13 of said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 6, the words, “or mobile telephone”.

The easiest thing for us to ask is that the SECTION 3 be re-written to say:

SECTION 3. Section 13 of said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby amended by replacing, in line 6, the words, “or mobile telephone” with “or amateur radio”.

If you want to sound precise, you can mention that they can say, “amateur radio, as defined in 47 CFR Part 97.” CFR = Code of Federal Regulations, by the way.

For your reference, the current Section 13 or Chapter 90 reads as follows:

“Section 13. No person, when operating a motor vehicle, shall permit to be on or in the vehicle or on or about his person anything which may interfere with or impede the proper operation of the vehicle or any equipment by which the vehicle is operated or controlled, except that a person may operate a motor vehicle while using a citizens band radio or mobile telephone as long as one hand remains on the steering wheel at all times.”

Remember: even though there’s an ‘amateur’ in our name, we can still impress with our professionalism. So be patient with staffers who aren’t familiar with the fine distinctions of radio regulation.

Call today if you can. If you don’t know who your representative and senator are, go to

and search by city/town or by ward/precinct. Or call your local city/town hall for help.

More details to follow.

Any questions or comments? Contact your ARRL Section Manager or the League’s State Government Liaison, K3HI.

Shawn O’Donnell, K3HI
ARRL Massachusetts State Government Liaison
508 561 4045 (before 10PM)

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