ORS 811.507 seems to indicate that an adult with an amateur radio license could legally use a laptop while driving, as long as it was used solely to control an amateur radio station. Obviously this is a very bad idea and nobody should do this, but is it technically legal? If it isn't illegal as distracted driving, would it be reckless driving? I would be very surprised if this was legal, but I don't see any law that would prohibit it.

  • Which subparagraph leads you to believe that? Commented May 6, 2022 at 21:45
  • @MichaelHall subparagraph 4d. I'm sure the purpose is to allow ham operators to use microphones and possibly Morse code keys, but it doesn't specify that.
    – Someone
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 22:53
  • (4)(d) deals with cops, firefighters, etc, and doesn't mention laptops. And I didn't see laptops anywhere else... Commented May 6, 2022 at 22:56
  • Basically there are three main types of ham radio activity. Phone (talking on a radio, like CB), CW (Morse code; radiotelegraphy), and digital. Digital modes use computers in the same way phone modes use microphones and CW uses a telegraph key; it is the device used to generate the signal that is transmitted. It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution of a person under this section that the person:... Was 18 years of age or older, held a valid amateur radio operator license issued or any other license issued by the Federal Communications Commission and was operating an amateur radio;
    – Someone
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 23:04
  • With digital modes, the computer (often a laptop) is being used to operate an amateur radio transceiver.
    – Someone
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 23:04

1 Answer 1



But they would not be guilty of breaking that particular law.

However, I’m sure Oregon has laws against negligent and reckless driving. This is both.

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