(Jul. 14, 2016) The Associated Press reported Utah authorities will likely be among the first in the nation to be allowed to disable or crash drones for flying too close to wildfires after lawmakers approve legislation.
“Lawmakers voted Wednesday during a special session after at least one unmanned aircraft has plagued firefighters recently in the southern part of the state,” according to BigStory.ap.org, “The bill would also impose harsher penalties on people caught flying the aircraft, with the maximum punishment of 15 years in prison and $15,000 fine if a drone causes a firefighting aircraft to crash.”
BigStory reported, “Bill sponsor Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, said that while the bill does allow firefighters or law enforcement to shoot down a drone, he doubts they’d do so because the unmanned aircraft fly so high and it would be difficult to do. Instead, fire officials or law enforcement officers are expected to use technology that jams signals to crash drones.” Vickers stated the state highway patrol and National Guard already have the technology.
The governor intends to sign the bill shortly.
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