Radio hams seek exemption from mobile handheld ban

Vermont amateur radio enthusiasts told a Senate committee Friday that they should be exempt from a bill restricting the use of handheld electronic devices while driving

Mitch Stern WB2JSJ of the club Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont told members of the Senate Transportation Committee that licensed ham radio operators provide a valuable emergency communications resource that benefits the public.

Stern said amateur radio operators are recognized as a safety organization by the state, in the same manner as fire and rescue groups. He said their networks are vital in emergency situations when mobile phones and other networks fail, such as during Tropical Storm Irene.

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