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drones during emergencies

Sonoma County wants to rein in drones during emergencies

in News

If you’ve been saying “those drones are out of control!” Sonoma County supervisors have heard you.

The County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors has given a preliminary thumbs-up to an ordinance that prohibits private or commercial drones from interfering with or impeding government response during local emergencies and public safety events. This includes fires, floods, law enforcement operations, crime scenes, and search and rescue operations.

The new ordinance, which will come back to the Board for a final vote on Aug. 17, allows civil enforcement against private or commercial drone operators who interfere with government operations during emergency or public safety response. Interfering drone operators can be issued an administrative citation that carries a fine of $100 per violation and up to $500 for repeat violations. Drone use during emergencies or public safety events is still OK as long as it doesn’t interfere or impede authorities in their response and operations.

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