Just days after a judiciary committee approved bill 330, the Louisiana State Senate failed to pass legislation on Monday that would have implemented extensive drone regulation in the Bayou State. While the bill did have more than a dozen exceptions, it would have prevented drones from participating in any type of surveillance work or capturing video or images on private property. The judiciary committee approved the bill just last Tuesday.
In response to the Senate’s ruling, Claitor said, “If we just put our hands in our pockets and ignore this issue, we’re going to have a problem.”
On that note, another drone-related bill, 35-1, will soon be considered by the the Louisiana House of Representatives. That bill, sponsored by state Sen. Mack “Bodi” White (R-Baton Rouge), criminalizes unmanned aircraft flight over telecommunications networks, chemical plants, water treatment plants and any location that could be labeled “critical infrastructure” – defined broadly as:
gas and oil production, storage, or delivery systems, … electrical power generation or delivery systems, financing and banking systems, emergency services, including medical, police, fire, and rescue services, transportation systems and services, including highways, mass transit, airlines, and airports.
Both bills join the ever-growing list of state proposals attempting to rein in the use of commercial drones – often in ways that could prove frustrating to drone operators attempting to interpret the legality of any given flight.
As with many such bills, law-enforcement and governmental entities (and their contractors) are exempt from the proposals. White’s bill would allow drone use on private property but such use could be dicey for owners who live close to any “critical infrastructure.”
Louisiana’s regulatory move represents a growing trend among state legislatures. Writing in the legal blog Lexology, attorney Nathan D. Taylor states: “Over the past two years, legislatures in almost every state have considered some form of legislation. As of [April 16], at least twelve states have enacted laws regulating the use or licensing of drones.”
Taylor points out that not every law is targeting private users. “Many of these laws are focused on limiting government and law enforcement activities,” he said.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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