Federal Drone Laws Evolving
In the ever-evolving world of technology, the era of the drone is beginning to emerge around the globe. Before we know it, drones may become as popular as smartphones. The new advances in the cyber world are sure to bring challenges, as well.
If drones fly too low they can cause everything from inconvenient distractions to physical harm of people or property. It remains to be seen how laws will develop in order to protect people from mishaps with drones.
A California man was at the beach with his friends when a drone was flying extremely low. The camera was on and aimed at the group. The gentleman motioned for the drone to leave but that didn’t happen. In order to get the drone to move away from the group, he threw his T-shirt at the drone which immediately got caught in the propeller. The drone fell to the ground causing over $700.00 in damage to the device. Unfortunately, it was considered felony vandalism and the man spent the night in jail for merely attempting to protect himself. Although the pilot of the drone claimed the machine was flying “high,” charges were eventually dropped.
The incident raised questions as to what happens when cameras fly too low on public property and take pictures of people without permission. Presently, it is not a crime when a drone takes pictures, but a person can be charged with a federal crime if he or she damages the drone.
Developing new laws to address these issues is something that will have to be considered as drones become more popular. At this point in time a person can be charged with a crime for damaging a drone unless it can be proven that self-protection was necessary in order to prevent bodily that was caused by the small aircraft.
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