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Statistics last updated 10th March 2023.

We have now closed the survey and thank everyone who took the time to send us their response. The results are shown below.

On 17 May 2021 we started a short survey into the misuse of the UHF CB emergency channels 5 & 35. As of 3 March 2023 we had 137 responses.

Of the responses 87.59% reported they had heard misuse of either one or both of the emergency channels while only 12.41% reported they had not heard misuse on ch5. The results below are for those reporting misuse. Reports of no misuse heard are rolled into the overall result shown above, but not in the channel or frequency data below.

Channel Instances
5 23.33%
35 7.50%
Both 5 and 35 69.17%

Of those that heard misuse we asked if they had heard operators in five different categories – Business/Commercial, Construction, Road Works, Government and Private/Hobbyist (multiple reports from each response was permitted so the figures below show the percentage reported from the total misuse responses).

Category Instances
Business or Commercial 53.33%
Construction 55.00%
Road Works 44.17%
Government 9.17%
Private or Hobbyist 65.83%

As can be seen from the above table, the largest proportion of misuse came from private hobbyists, followed by the construction industry, then business/commercial and road works. Government users were the lowest number of recorded users.

The survey also asked how often this misuse was observed (all non-misuse reports said “Daily” so the results below relate only to reports of misuse):

Frequency Instances
Daily 43.33%
Most of the week 15.00%
A few times a week 16.67%
Weekends only 0.83%
Random 24.17%

To round out the data we also asked whether the operator used their UHF in a car/truck, house or both (these results do include every response, whether positive or negative):

UHF used in Instances
Car and/or truck 44.53%
Home/House 11.68%
Both car/truck and home 43.79%

Some responses also gave us locations of the misuse. The most common of these, in descending order, was:

  • Sydney (CBD, West and North)
  • Melbourne (and surrounding suburbs)
  • Perth
  • Brisbane & Sunshine Coast
  • Newcastle (and surrounding suburbs)
  • Adelaide

A number of regional locations in NSW, Victoria and Queensland were also identified, while a significant number of responses did not provide a location. A couple did provide the name and location of possible offenders so in this cases RREC has made contact with these users in an effort to educate before we need to refer to ACMA.

Farming and farmers were also mentioned in responses as a group that often misuses 5/35 on their farms, especially during harvesting season when activities increase. This included farms in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

We’d like to thank everyone that participated in this survey. To date we have had little joy getting ACMA to act in some cases so these figures will be used in a further submission to the Minister and ACMA to show the extent of the problem. We are also considering an online petition and multi-group submission.

If you have details of a specific incident of misuse you can send us the details using our Misuse Report. We can then try to contact the users and educate them on these channels.