Bert Seither loves to fly his drone. It can lunge, turn, plummet, zoom and stop on a dime, and people love to watch, but last week when he was flying it around his neighborhood, a nearby resident walked onto his property and …
“He said I’ve got a gun and I’m not afraid to use it. I questioned if he meant me or the drone,” said Seither.
Minutes later, law enforcement arrived and started asking questions.
“He said that he would need to conduct some research about it and then he went about his way,” said Seither.
Concerned, Seither contacted 10 News because he wanted to spread the word of a looming new drone law.
As of midnight, the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act mandates drones can’t be used for unlicensed surveillance.
Drones can be used for aerial mapping, to assess property taxes, and to monitor the environment. In other words, drones are to be used by a person licensed by the state to perform “reasonable job-related tasks.” It also limits use by law enforcement, against unjustified surveillance.
Seither was doing neither. Drones are his hobby, and he wasn’t recording any video. He knows drone laws.
“Must maintain line of sight, cannot be in a no-fly zone, like airports, and no higher than 400 feet,” said Seither.
There are no criminal penalties attached to the new law, but if you are videotaped by one, you can sue the drone operator if you can prove financial damages.