Radio Scanners and New York State Law

Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

re; scanner

Postby izzy1975 » Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:09 pm

i guess its all that " fine line" stuff, but you are right clearblock. i personally dont see a problem with having them in a vehicle, however mine is not mounted, but the antenna is! So again fine line area. It really sucks too, cause there are so many people out there that have them, train chasers, firemen, red cross, storm spotters, etc etc, but then there is the very few trouble makers that had to ruin it! Good chating with ya
izzy1975
 
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:57 pm
Location: mexico,ny

Postby Steve F45 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:57 pm

Can't believe i didn't see this thead previously. A fellow railfan a few months ago was doing some photography when a local ny police officer approached him. Asked the typical, what you doing? why you near the tracks with a camera. Saw the scanner and took it from him and had him and his friend follow them to the pd, where at the time wasn't allowed his scanner or camera. He's since gotten the camera back i'll have to ask about the scanner.

I know they deem them illegal and what not, but what if you can show them that your scanner's channels that are entered only go so far? Meaning you only have lets say 10 channels programmed and thats it.
Steve F45
 
Posts: 4946
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 12:08 am
Location: New Milford,NJ

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Apr 28, 2007 1:28 am

2005Vdub wrote:Can't believe i didn't see this thead previously. A fellow railfan a few months ago was doing some photography when a local ny police officer approached him. Asked the typical, what you doing? why you near the tracks with a camera. Saw the scanner and took it from him and had him and his friend follow them to the pd, where at the time wasn't allowed his scanner or camera. He's since gotten the camera back i'll have to ask about the scanner.

I know they deem them illegal and what not, but what if you can show them that your scanner's channels that are entered only go so far? Meaning you only have lets say 10 channels programmed and thats it.


Can you tell us just where in New York State did this incident take place?
Noel Weaver
Noel Weaver
 
Posts: 9361
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Postby Steve F45 » Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:02 am

i dont know the town, but it was near the eastern/southern portal tunnel on the riverline. I guess near haverstraw? Im not familiar with that area up there.
Steve F45
 
Posts: 4946
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 12:08 am
Location: New Milford,NJ

Postby clearblock » Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:28 pm

2005Vdub wrote:.

I know they deem them illegal and what not, but what if you can show them that your scanner's channels that are entered only go so far? Meaning you only have lets say 10 channels programmed and thats it.


The law says "capable" of receiving police channels. It does not matter if there are any police channels actually programed or if you are actually listening to a police channel. If the user is able to enter a police frequency, the radio is illegal in a motor vehicle NY State.
clearblock
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:54 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

New York Legal Laws

Postby usa123 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:04 am

It cannot be riverline.
Last edited by usa123 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
usa123
 

Postby tree68 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:51 pm

clearblock wrote:
2005Vdub wrote:.

I know they deem them illegal and what not, but what if you can show them that your scanner's channels that are entered only go so far? Meaning you only have lets say 10 channels programmed and thats it.


The law says "capable" of receiving police channels. It does not matter if there are any police channels actually programed or if you are actually listening to a police channel. If the user is able to enter a police frequency, the radio is illegal in a motor vehicle NY State.

And having local police in the scanner when caught will help guarantee trouble.
Tree

Everyone Goes Home - Safety Begins With Me
Opinions are my own. No Expiration Date
tree68
 
Posts: 827
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:03 pm

Postby scharnhorst » Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:46 pm

simple turn scanner off and keep it in the back seat when not by the tracks. I don't turn mine on untill I get track side and when I leave I turn it off. The cops don't give me any touble when they see the scanner.
scharnhorst
 
Posts: 2999
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 9:53 pm
Location: Tulsa, OK, Syracuse, NY - Kherson, Ukraine

Postby CarterB » Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:23 pm

As an authorized Public Safety and Commercial radio dealer, I can tell you that, in this day and age....the possession of a scanner "capable" of receiving public safety frequencies can be a problem, whether it is turned on or off.

Within the last three months, I had both the FBI and DHS sitting in my office in regards to a situation where someone was trying to purchase VHF portables for 'scanning' for who knows what nefarious reasons.

As mentioned before, most scanners are indiscriminate as to frequency ranges they cover...i.e. just because you don't have the entire VHF band of 150-170MHz and only the 160-161's dialed into your particular scanner, it is 'capable' of frequencies in that range.

So...in reality...it's gonna depend on the 'mood' of any officer that may question why you are where you are and what you are doing.

My advice...keep them out of view entirely.
Bring back the Slumbercoaches!!
User avatar
CarterB
 
Posts: 2541
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:19 am
Location: Bergen County, New Jersey

Postby EdM » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:56 pm

Geez, I hate to beat this thing to death, but amateur HT's now a days are so small that they can fit in a shirt pocket, and could easily pass for nextel radios... but since 911 Barnie Fyfe has added justification to overstep and prove how tough he is. Sucks Ed K2LCK
de k2lck..spinner of antennas,tall tales and some outright lies...
EdM
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:34 pm
Location: Long Island

Postby jgallaway81 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:26 am

Okay, lets add a further question...

What about a railroad employee who has his handheld radio in scan mode, while in a company provided vehicle, deadheading to an outlieing location to take charge of a train?

Under NS rules, a crew deadheading to service is required to monitor the chanels of the area they are in... as an example, if you are deadheading into or around Reading PA, you have Harrisburg East, Lehigh Line and the Reading Yard channels you'd have to monitor.

Now, I'm going to add a though for those of you that use the grey matter installed above your shoulders...

The Kenwood I carry for work has a scan function, it also has 100+ channels it can be programmed for. However, the device can only listen to the frequencies that have been actively programmed in. As far as I can tell, in that case, unless a police channel duplicates one thats programmed into my handheld, I'd be okay... because, the handheld ISN'T capable of listening to those channels.

Ah, who cares? Its just another wonderful example of the idiocy of the ******** in Albany.
_________________
__ J. D. Gallaway __
http://me.fccorp.us
User avatar
jgallaway81
 
Posts: 605
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2006 3:00 pm
Location: Milepost PT236 on the Pittsburgh Line - Altoona, PA

Postby clearblock » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:31 am

jgallaway81 wrote:Okay, lets add a further question...

What about a railroad employee who has his handheld radio in scan mode, while in a company provided vehicle, deadheading to an outlieing location to take charge of a train?

Ah, who cares? Its just another wonderful example of the idiocy of the ******** in Albany.


Yes, it is a stupid law but let's clear up one thing.

The law does not prohibit, in fact it never mentions, "scanners". It prohibits radios capable of receiving "police" frequencies.

So, the fact that your railroad radio can "scan" is not an issue. As you said, your radio is programmed to only receive railroad frequencies. FCC regulations require that railroad and other business radios can not allow end user "direct frequency entry". The user can only select from licensed frequencies pre-programmed by a dealer or authorized radio shop.

Now we get to the stupid part of the law. As you said, it is possible that a RR frequency in your radio could be used by some police department somewhere. But, it is pretty much a given that the RR's FCC license for that frequency trumps any local law that says you can't use it.

I was surprised that your RR radio has scan enabled. RRs have been reluctant to allow scanning in operating crew radios since you could miss calls on your assigned channel while the scan stopped on another channel.
clearblock
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:54 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

Postby nessman » Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:43 am

You're using a company-issued 2-way radio that's not 'user programmable' and you're using it pursuant to your job duties. You're safe.
nessman
 
Posts: 1677
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Isle of Sodor

Postby EdM » Wed May 07, 2008 4:57 pm

and if a cop asks "is that a police radio," or something like that, you tell him "NO!, just RR"... done, now lets close this down.. Ed
de k2lck..spinner of antennas,tall tales and some outright lies...
EdM
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:34 pm
Location: Long Island

Re: Radio Scanners and New York State Law

Postby SST » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:20 am

For me, scanners won't work of course. Which is why I try to train spot near a set of signals. I wonder how long it will take for it to be illegal to use traffic movement information obtained by observing signals.

If I were standing on RR property would it be illegal then? What if I wasn't on RR property but the beam of light originated from RR property?

Yeah yeah yeah I know.
SST
 
Posts: 1184
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:11 pm
Location: Buffalo

PreviousNext

Return to New York State Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests