View Full Version : Philadelphia Restricts Wireless Devices

11-13-2009, 12:08 AM
And I thought only the Pittsburgh City Council was loopy...

I just became aware of this, but it would appear that last spring, the Philadelphia City Council passed an ordinance that bans use of cellular and mobile phones, with certain limited exceptions, effective November 1st. A Philadelphia Inquirer article, http://www.philly.com/inquirer/world_us/63382137.html indicates that the Philadelphia Police are issuing warnings for now, but will start writing tickets ($75 a pop) as of December 1st.

Here's the catch, though. The wording on the ordinance appears to indicate that it affects not only motorists, but anyone "while using a skateboard, scooter, inline skates or bicycle on any Street within the City." I'm almost surprised that they didn't indicate "walking" as well.

A copy of the ordinance is reprinted in the November issue of the Holmesburg ARC Newsletter (see http://www.harcnet.org/harc1109.pdf, Page 4). Under Prohibited Conduct, the wording states
No person shall use a mobile telephone or wireless communications device in any way, including for voice communications, messaging, or email... Now, how broadly will the police interpret "wireless communications device"? Cell phones? Blackberries? Sure. How about an HT? Or that 45 W dual bander under the dash?

An exception is made for
persons using a hands-free device for voice communication, provided that such person does not touch the mobile telephone or wireless communication device... while operating or using the vehicle and for some other circumstances.

This can put a real crimp in mobile operation. Think not? I seem to recall a case in NY State a few years ago where an out of state ham got cited for having a 2 meter rig in his car because (IIRC) it had scan capability... and at the first hearing, the judge upheld the ticket... even though the ordinance in question actually specifically exempted FCC-licensed Amateur Radio operators. (Last I heard was that it was being appealed, but I never did hear how that ended up)

73, ron w3wn
(and thanks to Mark WB3CAI for bringing this to my attention)

11-13-2009, 12:12 AM
Zero ... you know what.

11-13-2009, 04:35 AM
Our law specifically bansd rthee use of phones without handsfree use.
But it also specifically exempts the use of our gear from that law, so we still can use the hamradio in the cars, though there is a law into the traffic code that if you endanger the other traffic by doing anything that endangers the traffic, you can be seriously punished.

Driving erratically using the hamradio, cb etc will fall under that (art 5) law of the traffic code here.


11-13-2009, 09:35 AM
Most places already have laws on the books to the effect of banning Driving While Distracted.

But they don't enforce them. Oh no, can't do that... just because you were too busy looking for a new CD to play while munching on your Mickey Dee's french fries and allegedly chicken nuggets and sipping your artificially sweetened and colored carbonated beverage...

Instead, "they" pass new laws like this nonsense, all in a feel-good attempt to make it APPEAR that they're addressing the "problem," which leaves us another rule or regulation or ordinance or restriction to figure out, which due to poor wording choices is either overly broad or extremely narrow in scope (but they still DID something! don't forget to vote for their re-election!), and if and when challenged will probably, eventually, get thrown out by a judge, or over-ridden by newer feel-good legislation at the next administrative level up.

Professional politicians. Feh.

11-13-2009, 10:24 AM
It was finally tossed out (The NY case).

11-13-2009, 12:00 PM
It was finally tossed out (The NY case).

Do you happen to have a link to it? I'm curious, as I remember the fuss way back when.

11-13-2009, 01:01 PM
Ok, I looked and couldn't find it, here is the closest I saw:

I do remember coming across it before when I was trying to find out if I could legally have my radio in the car, found the case, and then went ahead with the install.