Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, aka drones, have made quite a splash since their debut on the market, with professionals and hobbyists alike adding these into their photographic arsenals. Often times though, drones have been subject to the scrutiny of the media recently. Story upon story of irresponsible usage of drones, such as a man crashing his drone into Yellowstone Hot Springs , hindering firefighters from battling blazes, nearly hitting commercial airliners, and being general nuisances, have caused lawmakers to scramble and create laws for drone flight and safety.
[REWIND: THE PROPOSED LAWS & REGULATIONS FOR DRONES ARE FINALLY HERE – OBAMA & THE FAA WEIGH IN & SPEAK OUT]
Earlier this year the FAA released an official set of rules for drone usage, and the proposed plan was set to be finalized next month. On Monday, a California bill passed in the state Assembly prohibiting drones from flying over private property. The bill by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) proposes that the distance of 350 feet above a private property be deemed as a “no-fly zone.” UAV operators will still be able to fly their drones over their own private property, above private property with permission, and over streets and public parks.
“When we’re in our backyards, with our families, we have an expectation that we have a right to privacy…This bill would extend our long-established definitions of trespassing and privacy, and bring them into the 21st century, by applying them also to drones,” Sen. Jackson said in a press release. The bill, called SB-142, still needs to be voted on in the Senate, but some voiced concerns that the regulations would hurt the growing drone industry. Drone supporters are also worried that if boundary lines for private property weren’t clear, operators could be fined or even arrested for accidentally flying their drone over someone’s property, even if it’s to “just turnaround.”
The bill passed 43-11 in the Assembly and now moves to the Senate for final approval.
What do you think about SB-142? Is 350ft too high? Will the bill stifle innovation? Comment below.
[Via Huffington Post]