NJ Could Soon Regulate Use of Drones

Dec 7, 2017

New Jersey may soon have its first statewide law to regulate the use of drones.

Senator Paul Sarlo says the drone industry is growing fast and and it’s time to regulate the unmanned aircraft systems to prevent problems.

His bill would make it a disorderly person’s offense to operate a drone while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“Think about it. You are going to be controlling a piece of equipment that’s going to be flying through the air. And the last thing we want is something to crash into something or injure someone.  So it’s the not the smartest thing in the world to have a few drinks in you and be operating a drone.”

Sarlo says the legislation would also criminalize operating a drone that interferes with first responders.

“Some of our larger first responders, our police and fire units, have drones. The last thing we want is some outsider flying his drone to take pictures or to get surveillance of the area and interfering with the work of the first responders.”  

It would also be a crime to operate a drone that endangers the security of a correctional facility.

“We don’t need any criminal element sending up drones to look at the property, the security measures that are in place, from the aerial view.”

Sarlo says drone manufacturers support the regulations and he’s confident Governor Christie will sign the legislation when it reaches his desk.