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McKeon, Quijano, Vainieri Huttle Bill to Regulate Drone Usage Clears Assembly

(TRENTON) – The use of drones is becoming more and more commonplace. They are used by the military, law enforcement, retailers and citizens. Aiming to better regulate the unmanned aerial vehicles and educate drone flyers, a bill (A-2881) sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Annette Quijano and Valerie Vainieri Huttle was approved today by the full Assembly 77-2-1.

The legislation would require certain retailers to provide notice to consumers of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety guidelines for flying a model aircraft, which includes a drone and is operated for hobby or recreational purposes.

“Ensuring consumers know the safe and correct way to fly drones is not a heavy lift,” said McKeon (D-Essex, Morris). “Not everyone knows that drones are not to be flown over emergency response efforts or near other aircraft. This bill will help educate the public and that’s a good thing.”

Under the measure, retailers would be required to post a sign at the point of purchase to provide every drone buyer with the written notice containing the FAA safety guidelines.
“As technology evolves we need to evolve our laws to keep pace,” said Quijano (D-Union). “The use of drones can help keep our residents safe, simplify their lives at times and even be used strictly for recreational purposes, but we must have commonsense laws and a clear understanding of guidelines to guard against their misuse.”

“Unmanned drones have been reported over parades, and have crashed into the stands of stadiums at sporting events, including a U.S. Open tennis match, and there has been a drastic increase in pilot sightings of drones,” explained Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “We’re simply requiring retailers to educate drones users in an effort to promote safety.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.