CT lawmakers looking for drone regulations [WFSB]

June 11, 2014

WFSB – Channel 3
WFSB 3 Connecticut
The regulations of drones, a remote-controlled flying device, have been on the minds of state legislators after a bill was proposed last year to oversee the use of them.

Drones can fly high in the air and can carry cameras, but there are no clear rules on how they can be operated.

Recently a 17-year-old was flying his drone over Hammonasset beach, a public state beach in Madison. A woman was recently faced with assault charges after she tried to stop the teen from using his drone, even though police said he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

The bill that was proposed last year would oversee people’s use of these flying devices that can carry cameras and feed back live images.

Republican state Sen. Len Fasano (District 34) and other lawmakers want to make sure there is a clear line drawn on how they can be used.

“There probably isn’t an expectation of privacy to lay out on a public beach, but there’s a sense of crossing over that line, a hovercraft is over you while you are laying out in a bathing suit, and that can creep out a lot of people,” said Fasano.

The drone bill, backed by East Haven State Rep. Jim Albis, did not make it to the floor last year, but the question is being studied for possible action this coming session. Fasano said federal regulators are tackling the same issue so many states are waiting to see what they come up with, and it’s not just a question about privacy.

Edward Figueroa, of Bridgeport, said there is a possibility of a drone malfunctioning and causing a car accident.

William Velazquez of Bridgeport said, “Until we have regulations, we don’t know what’s right or what’s wrong.”

State legislators are also trying to tackle how state and local police should be using the devices, and right now about 30 states have laws regulating drones.