Up in the Air on Drones
Just as the first automobile owners had to learn how to drive safely, advancing technology continues to create responsibilities for its users.
And in the case of personal drones, it also creates controversy.
As these hovering gadgets become less expensive and more accessible, new safety and privacy issues arise.
The U.S. Forest Service has documented 13 wildfires during the last year in which drones have interfered with firefighting helicopters -- including one California pilot who came within 10 feet of colliding head-on with a drone. This Youtube video shows firefighters on the ground also becoming frustrated with busybody drone hobbyists.
Meanwhile, homeowners might become irritated by drones flying over their private property - enabling video to be taken of the people, belongings and activities below - and shifting the fear of Big Brother to that of countless Little Brothers with their own recreational spying capabilities.
There should be accountability for Drone operators to fly the devices safely and courteously, but laws regulating their use -- and what recourse there is when that use is unwelcome -- are still evolving.
WTOC's parent company - Raycom Media -- prohibits the use of drones by its news stations, at least until the FAA clarifies the rules that apply to them.
So, for now, we like a lot of you - are up in the air on drones.
What do you think?
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