Senator Ted Gaines announced Friday that two of his bills related to drone-use – Senate Bills 170 and 271 – passed the out of the Senate with unanimous, bi-partisan support and are now headed to the Governor.
“Privacy issues, especially in today’s fast-paced internet and technology era, are among the most important policy issues facing Californians,” said Senator Gaines. “We must protect the public’s right to privacy and more importantly, their safety, from inappropriate drone-use. These bills address this new reality and I am hopeful the Governor will sign them into law.”
Senate Bill 170 makes it a misdemeanor to fly a drone over a prison or county jail, impeding a drone operator’s ability to drop contraband.
Keeping contraband out of prisons and county jails is critical to running safe and orderly facilities. With public access to drones increasing, this issue is becoming even more of a challenge. As drones become smaller and easier to operate, virtually anyone will be able to use the device to drop contraband into a prison or county jail. Drones can also be used to gather sensitive information from inside of prisons. This information can be used for a variety of dangerous exploits, including inmate escapes and prison riots. Placing restrictions on the use of drones over prisons and jails helps prevent these situations.
Senate Bill 271 safeguards children from kidnapping, harassment, stalking or a host of other potential harm by making it illegal to fly drones over public schools grades K-12 during school hours. The bill also makes it illegal to capture images of the campus during school hours or during extracurricular activities.
This bill is intended to stay ahead of the technological curve by providing a safeguard for children while they are at school and provides an important layer of privacy to students at a place that should be a sanctuary.