by Rod Boshart
DES MOINES | The Iowa Senate passed legislation Wednesday designed to create parameters in Iowa for the use of drones, otherwise known as unmanned aerial vehicles.
Senators, by a 48-1 vote with Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, casting the lone dissenting vote, amended House File 2289 to prohibit state or local law enforcement authorities from using unmanned aerial vehicles for traffic enforcement.
The bill that now returns to the Iowa House for consideration states that evidence obtained by law enforcement using an unmanned aerial vehicle is not admissible in a criminal or civil trial unless it was obtained legally pursuant to a search warrant or in a manner that is consistent with state and federal law, said Sen. Rich Taylor, D-Mount Pleasant, floor manager for HF 2289.
The bill also directs the state Department of Public Safety, in consultation with the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, state and local agencies and other interested organizations to examine whether the Iowa criminal code should be modified to regulate misuse of unmanned aerial vehicles.