I’m not sure why Citizen’s Band (CB) radios have gotten a bad rap in the US, but my hypothesis is that because it was a fad, a craze, in the 70’s and everybody went over the top with the novelty of it, we laugh about it as a relic of ancient history in this modern era of connected phones. The world of unlicensed people generally dump on the medium, but licensed Amateur Radio operators (like me) are the worst at putting it down, calling it a “license downgrade”.
Fact is, lots of hams got their start in CB, and once they got a taste for long-distance (DX) communications and got interested in the technical aspects of radio, they studied, took the test, and got a license to legally operate on the frequency bands that get them closer to that sweet DX. Sometimes, people forget their roots.
I decided to buy a new CB against all the snide judgment of friends who told me I was wasting my money and time. Be that as it may, this CB has actually proven useful while traveling. Usually I’ll have brief exchanges with other drivers (almost always truck drivers) when the traffic’s shitty, as a way to find out what’s happening ahead of me, or to offer observations so they can get a sense for what’s going on. Tit for tat: life on the road sucks, and if you have a chance to be kind, be kind.
There’s absolutely no reason for me to not have a CB in my car along with my dual-band Amateur radio. After having it there for almost a year, to not be there feels like cutting the nerves to a specialized ear that can hear CB transmissions. Every radio extends your senses and your ability to communicate. Ultimately, that’s what radio is for: communications.