State Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa
State Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa

State Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, is sponsoring legislation protecting first responders from interference from unmanned drone pilots.

Drones can be used by pilots to get an aerial view of what they normally would not be able to see; however, their use can get in the way of police, firemen or paramedics.

“We have seen increased activity from civilians using state-of-the-art drones to interfere with first responders when they are carrying out their duties, like in police chases or rescue missions,” said Yednock in a press statement. “I want to send a clear signal that it is unacceptable for anyone to interfere with the job of a first responder when they are protecting our safety or on the scene of an emergency.”

Yednock’s House Bill 3452 aims to prevent interference with first responders from members of the general public using drones, which have been subject to criticism from fire departments across the country, Yednock said.

Drones have interrupted 11 firefighting efforts, according to the U.S. Forest Service. They can delay and postpone public safety missions even though their flight might not be intended to cause issues.

“Drones are best used when they’re helping our first responders accomplish their search and rescue missions, not when these devices are used to purposely obstruct a life-saving rescue attempt or police pursuit, like we have seen,” said Yednock. “First responders deserve to be able to do their jobs in keeping us all safe without interference by anyone or anything and making an already difficult job much harder.”

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via | The Times

March 15, 2019 at 04:01PM