Drones, or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), have been used for many positive commercial and recreational purposes, including property damage assessments, crop monitoring, aerial photography and more. Yet they’ve also been utilized to smuggle contraband such as drugs and cell phones into prison yards.
The Senate recently passed a package of bills to provide rules for the safer use of this developing technology.
Among other provisions, the legislation:
- Strengthens drone restrictions on interfering with emergency services and law enforcement, including corrections officers;
- Prohibits drones from being used to interfere with correctional facilities and “key facilities” such as refineries, power plants, water treatment plants, transportation facilities and cell phone tower sites;
- Holds a drone operator responsible for any illegal action done by a drone; and
- Establishes an office within the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to provide information and education on drone regulations and restrictions.
Senate Bills 917, 918, 919, 921 and 922 have been sent to the House for consideration.