Can you use a walkie talkie to communicate on the road?

30/01/13 1:45 AM

The rules on the use of 2 way radios and cellphones whilst operating a automobile are sort of different, the regulation has been law since 2003 with the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2003, the law was put into place to boost road safety, after the emergence of mobile phones becoming inexpensive and trendy, the need for some sort of legislation curb the use of cellphones, two way radios and any form of handheld communication devices used whilst a automobile is being driven. The penalty of the rules are outlined here –

 

“It is a specific offence to use a hand–held phone or similar device, when driving. Most offences will be dealt with by way of 3 penalty points and a £60 Fixed Penalty Notice but if the matter proceeds to a Court hearing, the fine can be as much as £1,000 or £2,500 if you were driving a bus, coach or any heavy goods vehicle”

(source:http://www.motorlawyers.co.uk/offences/mobile_phone.htm)

 

Hands free equipment is excluded from this law, and is only accepted if it is able to be operated without holding it with the hand. “Pushing buttons on the phone while it is in a cradle or around the steering wheel or handlebars of a bike for instance isn’t prohibited by this offence” its recognized that 2 way radio earpieces are designed with a push-to-talk (PTT) system, implying that the use of earpieces is invariably against the law. 2003 saw the Amendment of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 110 outlined the law –

 

110.—(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a road if he is using—

(a)a hand-held mobile telephone; or

(b)a hand-held device of a kind specified in paragraph (4).

(2) No person shall cause or permit any other person to drive a motor vehicle on a road while that other person is using—

(a)a hand-held mobile telephone; or

(b)a hand-held device of a kind specified in paragraph (4).

(3) No person shall supervise a holder of a provisional licence if the person supervising is using—

(a)a hand-held mobile telephone; or

(b)a hand-held device of a kind specified in paragraph (4),

at a time when the provisional licence holder is driving a motor vehicle on a road.

(4) A device referred to in paragraphs (1)(b), (2)(b) and (3)(b) is a device, other than a two-way radio, which performs an interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving data.

(source: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2003/2695/regulation/2/made)

 

The irrefutable section of this law is section (4) that seems to clear using two way radios whilst driving, it separates handheld device from a two way radio, and later on in the rule classifies 2 way radios.

 

“two-way radio” means any wireless telegraphy apparatus which is designed or adapted—

(i)for the purpose of transmitting and receiving spoken messages; and

(ii)to operate on any frequency other than 880 MHz to 915 MHz, 925 MHz to 960 MHz, 1710 MHz to 1785 MHz, 1805 MHz to 1880 MHz, 1900 MHz to 1980 MHz or 2110 MHz to 2170 MHz;

 

The premise of this post was to determine if using a two way radio is lawful to use when driving, it is obvious that the use of a two way radio is a similar distraction to a mobile phone, the use of a two way radio an individual can still be prosecuted under the careless driving, Driving without Due Consideration and Dangerous Driving legislation, but this isn’t specific to two way radios as a hand-full of drivers have been prosecuted for using hands free kits with a cell phone, even though the equipment used has complied with the Road Vehicles Regulations 2003. However it is sort of clear within the regulations that two way radios have a specific rule applied and is specifically singled out inside the rulings.

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