Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pilots Affected by Laser Pointers Leads to Federal Law

I have talked about the danger laser pointers pose to Pittsburgh adolescents and the disturbing power of laser pointers to cause injury in this post. Now, laser pointers are the subject of a Pittsburgh Post Gazette article today, specifically, the risk they pose to airplane passengers. You can read the full article here.

Both nationally and in Pittsburgh, the number of incidents involving laser pointers flashed at airplanes has been going up. In 2010, the Federal Aviation Administration reported 2,836 incidents, nearly double the 1,527 recorded in 2009. This year, through mid-May, 1,100 such incidents have been reported.

The risk is serious enough that Congress is undertaking action. The House and Senate have passed legislation that would make it a federal crime to knowingly point lasers at airplanes. The legislation is now in a conference committee. Under current law, anyone caught training a laser pointer at a jet can be charged with interfering with a flight crew or other charges, with penalties varying from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Share this post :
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