Saturday, June 21, 2014

New York legislature OKs tougher penalties for lasers pointed at aircraft; video shows blinding effects

ALBANY, N.Y. -- State lawmakers in New York have voted to outlaw the dangerous practice of pointing lasers at airplanes.

 The measure would make it a misdemeanor to shine a laser pointer at an aircraft. If the laser forced a pilot to significantly change course or otherwise disrupted the flight, the crime would be a felony. 

The Senate and Assembly passed the legislation this week before adjourning their six-month session.

It's already illegal under federal law to point a laser at a plane. The lasers are hazardous because they can easily disorient pilots.

Federal authorities report a big increase in the number of incidents, with nearly 100 occuring in the New York City area last year.

Supporters say matching state law with federal law will make it easier to prosecute offenders.

This TV news report highlights a recent video from a Seminole County Sheriff's helicopter shows a laser light being pointed at the pilot. One person was arrested.

Story, video and photo:

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