You've probably seen the flying quadcopter platforms more commonly known as drones floating in and around an outdoor event that you've attended recently. These flying machines when equipped with a lightweight camera give an excellent birds eye view of festivals, farm land, flooding, and other situations where a view from the top might be beneficial.

As with all advances in technology come the efforts by those to misuse the technology for personal gain at the expense of other's rights. That is why the some Louisiana lawmakers are seeking to get certain restrictions on drones around schools and jails.

Lake Charles Representative Stephen Dwight recently filed a bill that would prohibit drone surveillance over public and private schools and correctional facilities. Dwight said the request for the legislation came from Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso.

From the Sheriff’s standpoint it’s a safety issue, he didn’t want people getting an aerial view of the jail facility. From the School Board standpoint, I think it’s just protection of the children.

Officials with the sheriff's department believe curtailing drone usage over their facilities would help eliminate contact that prisoners have with friends and family on the outside. Those contacts could lead to the smuggling of contraband over prison walls and into the facility.  Under Dwight's proposed legislation the penalties would be significant.

First offense will be a $500 fine or imprisonment and the second offense, I think it goes up to $2,000 if they’re convicted of a second offense.

Dwight suggests that his legislation will not be the only drone legislation considered for this session.

I don’t think this is going to be the only drone legislation that’s going to be brought through to the legislature this session. If it’s my understanding, there will be more drone legislation to restrict it but I haven’t seen any of that legislation drafted.

As far as his proposal is concerned Dwight believes he has support for its passage in the legislature. Obviously there will be adjustments and changes made during the deliberation and discussion phases before the bill is brought to a vote.


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