Letters to the Editor

Let’s get ahead of curve regulating use of drones

Steve Shanewise

Olympia

It’s time to get ahead of the curve when it comes to drones. Their numbers and use are increasing exponentially with no end in sight. Even if only 1 percent of private citizens bought one that would be 3 million drones across the nation. That’s a lot of potential for problems.

The use of drones should not be considered some sort of personal liberty protected by the Constitution. Indeed, the issue here is the invasion of privacy. We need to make rules regarding trespass of drones that are adapted to the realities of this new phenomenon.

My solution would be to just create 3-D property limits that extend vertically from the ground to whatever height drones are restricted to. Then, the rule would be that you could fly a drone anywhere you want to as long as you own the land underneath the airspace, or have permission from whoever does. And when it comes to the issue of the right of access to public property like parks, city streets or sidewalks, there needs to be a justification for granting permission (a permit) founded in public safety.

For example, at the gay pride parade in Seattle this year, a pedestrian was knocked unconscious by a drone that crashed into a building and then fell on her head. With a permit requirement, operators would have to prove they are trained and capable of flying a drone safely, plus, we’d know who is responsible for knocking that person out.

Steve Shanewise

Olympia

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