If you thought the “ban list” that Councilwoman Diane Dixon continues to try to push onto a relatively free population was complete, you’d be wrong. Last Tuesday, the City Council had a hearing on drones, where Kelsey Brewer with the Association of California Cities (OC) spoke at the request of Dixon.
Dixon was joined in her quest by Councilman Scott Peotter.
Drones are regularly used to photograph houses by real estate agents, film boat parties, fishing crews, whale and dolphin watching, and taking other amazing footage including exploring canyons and showcasing our city’s natural scenic beauty.
Reasons for the ban were brought up, which included:
Potential use of drones for eavesdropping (really? you all know how loud these things are)
Potential use of drones for Trespass/Invasion of Privacy/Peeping Tom (this is already illegal)
Potential use of drones for Stalking (this is already illegal)
The problem here, though, is that literally all of the above are ALREADY illegal. That’d be like banning hammers because they could be used to break car windows. There are abundant uses for drones and people using them criminally are still criminals, and people using them to take photos of cool stuff should not be made to be criminals just because other people are creeps. Arrest the creeps for being creeps, but do not punish innocent people.
Councilmember Will O’Neill and Kevin Muldoon agreed with reality (as usual), with O’Neill saying “[…] the best we can do is send out our police officers to try and enforce what is essentially pre-technological penal codes.” — you have nailed it, Mr. O’Neill.
The real legal problem, though, is that if Dixon gets her way, it will set the city up to get sued into oblivion by photographers, real estate agents, and the FAA itself, as was already demonstrated in the Singer v. Newton (Massachusetts) case.
I grabbed the title image screenshot from Andy’s Aerial Adventures, which regularly produces amazing aerial footage in and around the Newport Area.
Please, tag your friend who has a drone or post your favorite aerial photos or videos from our area, below– and sign the petition to stop this ban at http://savenewport.com/drones/
Watch the video of the City Council Study Session, here: http://newportbeach.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=44&clip_id=2667 (Item #SS3)