CB Radio Etiquette


CB radios are a useful tool to use when traveling and can also serve as an excellent diversion when on long trips. CB radios are primarily used by truck drivers for updates on traffic conditions and such. It is important to remember that using a CB radio, for work or play, requires a certain etiquette. Some channels are used specifically for emergencies or basic information.

Emergency Channels

  • Channel 9 on a CB radio is considered an emergency channel. This channel is used to contact emergency personnel and should not be used for any other purpose.

Breaking In

  • When using a CB Radio, you do not just start talking. You should ask permission to join or begin a conversation. This is done by saying "break" or "breaker" followed by the channel number that you are on. Channel 19 is the most common, basic information gathering channel. If you want to ask a question or report a traffic condition, you begin by saying "break one nine" and waiting for someone to answer with a phrase such as "go ahead, breaker."

Switching Channels

  • To avoid "taking over" a channel with your conversation, you should switch to a less-used channel if you intend to hold an extended dialogue. Through use, you will find which channels are less frequented of the typical 40 band channels. Simply tell the person you are conversing with to switch to channel 4, for example.

Common Courtesies

  • Use common sense when speaking on a CB radio. These are public access channels. Avoid the use of profanity. Do not speak over others' conversations. It is important to remember that truck drivers are the most frequent CB users and that they have a culture of their own. Respect their jobs and their place on the road.

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