Leo Zuber can only hope that local law enforcement won’t be kept too busy once the law on drones and other unmanned aircraft systems is enacted.
The Ripon City Council voted 4-0 Tuesday on the new ordinance that’s in compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration guidelines.
Councilman Mark Winchell was absent.
Zuber had concerns about the line of sight being seemingly being omitted in the new law.
“Without a line of sight this is an accident waiting to happen,” said the elected leader.
But Deputy City Attorney Stacy Henderson was quick to point out that part is actually covered under the recent FAA rules for drones.
Included are the following:
uno careless or reckless operation.
umaximum airspeed of no more than 100 mph.
umaximum altitude of 500 feet above ground level.
Ripon Police Chief Ed Ormonde indicated that his department has the investigative tools to track down such unmanned aircrafts.
“One crazy operator out of 100 is what this ordinance is about,” said Zuber, who added that operators of drones should “respect people and their property.”
Noted hobbyist and flying enthusiast Chris Lake was none too thrilled about seeing the “no flying at night” attached to the new law.
“There are a lot of people (at the Mistlin Sports Park) who like flying at night,” he said.
Besides that part being in the FAA guidelines, Ormonde said that city parks are closed at night.
The new law is more about getting those who are negligent, dangerous and careless when it comes to putting people at risk or being reckless to the point of causing property damage along with invasion of privacy, according to Henderson and Ormonde.
“It’s great we can start it now and not play catch up,” Zuber said.
Added Henderson: “If it doesn’t have enough teeth (for police) or over regulated, we can always bring it back to Council.”
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.