County Executive Controls Fate of Rockland Drone Law

The drone law proposed by Rockland Legislator Jay Hood with the help of the County Sheriff’s Department was passed last week. At the Legislature’s meeting members approved the bill that would regulate the use of unmanned drones by limiting where they are allowed to be flown. Sheriff Louis Falco raised concerns that the devices could be used to smuggle drugs or weapons into sensitive areas, such as prisons, prompting Legislators to draft the bill that makes it illegal to fly a drone within 100 feet of a jail, school, houses of worship, or government buildings and allows the owner to fly their drone only on their own property, or with the permission of the property owner. Anyone caught breaking the law would be fined a minimum of $250, $500 for a second offense, and $1,000 and one year in jail for a third offense. County Executive Ed Day has 16 days remaining to veto the law or sign it into action, though he stated that there may be unnecessary side effects if it passes, for example the law could effect people flying kites, or radio controlled airplanes. Day is working with County Attorney Thomas Humbach to evaluate the bill, Humbach stated there may be a way to limit the law to spying or preventing smuggling.

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