New Drone Bill Focuses On The Safety And Effectiveness Of Firemen

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New Drone Bill Focuses On The Safety And Effectiveness Of Firemen

2015 has been the year of the drone for firefighters. In California, our regular fire season has been peppered with drone interference that has halted or slowed down vital firefighting efforts. Careless operators, most likely trying to get the next viral video clip on YouTube, are indirectly destroying property and threatening lives. With so many drone related incidents, it’s should come as no surprise that a drone bill is heading to California Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.

What does the bill include?

Legislation that would increase fines for drone operators who interfere with firefighters and other emergency responders has passed the Legislature and is headed to the governor for consideration.

State Sen. Ted Gaines’ proposed law would also grant immunity to firefighters and other emergency responders who damage or destroy unmanned aerial aircraft during emergency operations.

Bill on Drones Heads to Calif. Governor’s Desk

While I’m generally against drone related regulation (I prefer education, instead), I agree with State Senator Ted Gaines on this one:

“To think that someone would interfere with firefighting or emergency response situations to get a sneak peak or to post a drone video on YouTube is an outrage that is deserving of punishment and condemnation,” Gaines, a Republican from El Dorado, said in a statement.

Bill on Drones Heads to Calif. Governor’s Desk

As well as John Miller, U.S. Forest spokesman:

“Any effort by our elected officials, the public and hobbyists to make the skies safer for firefighters, we definitely appreciate,” said John Miller, U.S. Forest spokesman for the San Bernardino National Forest.

Bill on Drones Heads to Calif. Governor’s Desk

Will this have an impact? How would this be enforced as a law? I think a lot of questions still remain, but the core concepts behind the bill I find myself in agreement with.

By | 2015-09-16T19:33:40+00:00 September 24th, 2015|Drone Law, Drones, FAA, Fire Department, First Responder, Opinion|Comments Off on New Drone Bill Focuses On The Safety And Effectiveness Of Firemen

About the Author:

Sam Estrin
I'm an avid drone enthusiast and part-time drone blogger living outside of the DC area. I track drone news and write editorials and timely drone news stories that I find interesting. If you like my stories, you can follow me on Twitter or visit me at LinkedIn. If you'd like me to write for your drone oriented publication or blog, you can contact me at info@droneuniversities.com.