Tuesday, July 21, 2015

California Legislators introduce drone regulation

The Daily Journal/Associated Press, 6/21/15.  "California bill lets on-the-job firefighters take out drones."

Image result for Firefighters taking out drones
Get out of here...
Image result for Firefighters taking out drones
Firefighter/emergency responders
hazard:  unauthorized drones.
"SACRAMENTO — Two lawmakers are taking steps to stop drones from interfering in firefighting efforts after several incidents in California.  One bill, SB167, would increase fines and make jail time possible for drone use that interferes with firefighting efforts.

And on Monday, Republican Sen. Ted Gaines of El Dorado and Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Glendale also announced SB168, which would grant immunity to emergency responders who damage drones during firefighting or rescue operations.

It comes after firefighters say efforts to put out a large wildfire on Interstate 15 last week were hampered by five drones being flown in the area. Friday’s blaze destroyed 20 vehicles on the freeway linking Southern California and Las Vegas. It spread to other communities and has since burned more homes and vehicles."

Related, news.  CBS Los Angeles, 7/20/15, "California Bill lets on-the-job firefighters take out drones," includes embedded video, 38 seconds.  .... "Firefighting efforts from the air have been hampered by the presence of drones at as many as three times in the past month. Firefighting aircraft were grounded near Big Bear Lake due to a drone near last month’s Lake Fire, while another drone delayed efforts to battle a blaze in Mill Creek Canyon for at least 20 minutes on July 12.  Five drones in the air also delayed water drops on the I-15 in the Cajon Pass Friday, when at least 20 vehicles were destroyed by a brush fire burning on both sides of the freeway. ... Mike Gatto said. 'Our emergency response personnel shouldn’t be at risk when coming to the aid of our communities.'"

Related, opinion.  Robotics Trends/Steve Crowe, 6/24/15. "Here's ... why we need more consumer drone regulation...":  "... firefighters are seeing more unauthorized consumer drones flying over active wildfires. Maybe the drone owners don’t know or maybe they don’t care, but temporary flight restrictions are placed over wildfire areas due to the aircraft used to help contain the fires. Aircraft is used during wildfires to knock down flames and survey the burn area. When drones are in that restricted airspace, they’re in the path of aircraft."

Note photographs. 1-15 Cajon Pass freeway fire KTLA 5-TV from Pundita blog, "Firefighters' initial effort was hampered by five drones that were being flown in the area when fire broke out, said Lee Beyer, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman. He said several firefighting aircraft were delayed or diverted until the drones moved out of the area."  Drone near fire from Robotics Trends blog, related opinion article above.

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

What a timely article what with all the problems firefighters have been having lately with drones in Pacifica.

I Love Pacifica! said...

Where is Mr. Wald with a magical "Palin-Drone"???

Let us make Pacifica into a drone center! A drone fair and convention. Drone enthusiasts from far and near could be welcomed with their drones to fly our lovely skies. We could have a competition for the best droning and we could have drone follies. GPS guided Drones could deliver food from our favorite restaurants to our homes. We need to bring more drones to Pacifica. Join me in getting on the drone bandwagon, and don't forget, Drones are yet another reason why we should not widen highway one!