MOST drivers on the road knows the importance of keeping clear emergency channels. such as 35.
Usually it’s the grey nomads clogging the airwaves but this can have dire consequences.
Volunteer group SEQuest is politely calling on all drivers to be mindful of which UHF channels they find themselves on.
Founder Shane Barnes said the primary job of the group was keep an ear open to catch any emergency calls coming from land or sea.
“We find some drivers on channel 40 who want to carry on a conversation tend to drop down to UHF channel 35,” he said.
“Most people aren’t aware and find themselves on it by accident but it is the emergency channel which means they are also talking onto channel 5, jamming the repeaters.
While fixing the issue is all about education, the fines for clogging an emergency channel can be pretty hefty.
Using emergency channel for non-emergency purposes can lead to a fine of up to $165,000 or two years imprisonment under the Radio Communication Act.
Interference in an emergency call itself can lead to a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment or $550,000.
So steer clear of the channels and help SEQuest help you.
Shane, who has been in the emergency services for years, founded the group in 2009.
He and his team of 15 volunteers are located throughout Queensland covering key areas along major highways, to keep watch over the airwaves and alert the authorities to any calls for assistance.
“We have had calls for trucks that have caught fire, breakdowns on major roads, we once had a call up about a lady giving birth on the side of the road,” Shane said.
CHANNEL OPEN: SEQuest is a volunteer group keeping an ear open for emergencies.