FCC Fines Florida Man $48,000 For Jamming Cell Phone Signals During Daily Commute

There are enough bad drivers on the road as it is, but what's particularly frustrating is seeing a fellow motorist drive recklessly as a result of using a mobile phone. Jason R. Humphrey from Florida must have seen it one too many times, hence his decision to use a cell phone jammer during his commute. That decision will cost him tens of thousands of dollars.

The Federal Communications Commission fined Mr. Humphrey $48,000 for using a cell phone jammer in his car going to and from his place of employment in Tampa. Mr. Humphrey managed to evade detection and interfere with cellular service along Interstate 4 on his daily commute for two years before he was finally caught.

Driving Phone

"This case highlights the danger posed to public safety by use of a single signal jamming device, which can disrupt all wireless and public safety communications in the area," said Travis LeBlanc, Enforcement Bureau Chief. "These devices may not be used by the public under any circumstances."

The FCC opened an investigation into the matter after receiving an interference complaint from a local wireless service provider. Using equipment designed to detect the source of interference, the FCC was able to track Mr. Humphrey down as the culprit in 2014. The FCC proposed a $48,000 fine at that time. Mr. Humphrey never responded to the proposed fine, so now two years later it's official.

While Mr. Humphrey might have had good intentions, it's illegal to use signal jammers in the U.S. They also can't be marketed, sold, or imported "except in very limited circumstances" that involve armed forces and the Justice Department. Unfortunately for Mr. Humphrey, road rage doesn't qualify as an exception.