Garfield - The city has introduced regulations regarding unmanned aircraft, commonly known as drones, in the hopes of protecting privacy and for safety reasons. The new city law will only permit hobby drone operators to fly their aircraft over their own properties and below 400 feet. Flying above other residences, commercial zones areas, roadways, government or public buildings and property, and parks throughout the city will be banned. Exceptions will be granted to emergency personnel and non-profits, for scientific research and at athletic events, and private company owners within their own borders. All drones will have to be flown below 400 feet, which is inline with the Federal Aviation Administrations rules.
Bernards Township Ordinance 2328
Chatham Ordinance 2015-16
Drones in the news
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As amended, this bill regulates and prohibits the operation of unmanned aircraft systems, commonly referred to as drones, under certain circumstances.
Under the bill, it is a disorderly persons offense to operate a drone: 1) knowingly or intentionally in a manner that endangers the life or property of another; 2) to take or assist in the taking of wildlife; and 3) while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol. Disorderly persons offenses are punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
The bill provides that it is a fourth degree crime for a person to knowingly or intentionally: 1) create or maintain a condition that endangers the safety or security of a correctional facility by operating a drone on the premises of or in close proximity to the facility; and 2) operate a drone in a manner that interferes with a first responder who is actively engaged in response or air, water, vehicular, ground, or specialized transport. Fourth degree crimes are punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Further, it is a third degree crime for a person to knowingly operate a drone to conduct surveillance of or gather information about a correctional facility. Third degree crimes are punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
In addition, the bill prohibits a person from operating a drone for the purpose of hindering or preventing the lawful taking of wildlife.
The bill also provides that it is a violation of a restraining order or any other court order restraining contact with a person or location for a person who is subject to that order to operate a drone within a distance of a person or location that would violate the order.
Sarah Nilsson, J.D., Ph.D., MAS
602 561 8665
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