TECH NEWS –
In Japan, it is now forbidden to drive a drone while drunk. One more step to avoid accidents.
This restriction should reassure detractors of the drone. A law passed Thursday, June 13 by Japanese MPs prohibits anyone drunk driving a drone, an extra measure to avoid accidents due to these devices very popular in the country.
The text, which has yet to be approved by senators, provides for a fine of up to 300,000 yen (2,400 euros) and up to one year in prison. But the measure also imposes a strict supervision of the use of the devices weighing more than 200 grams, sanctioning the amateurs of fast dives and other dangerous maneuvers (up to 500,000 yen of fine).
The law covers drones weighing more than 200g (7oz) and also puts limits on where drones can be flown.
“We believe that driving drones while drunk is as serious as driving under the influence of alcohol,” said an AFP official at the Japanese Ministry of Transport.
Japan has for several years already adopted a strict regulation for drones, totally banning its use over sensitive sites such as official buildings, airports, nuclear power plants, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games sites. as well as above the crowds. Special authorization is required for each flight in most urban areas.
As well as fines over drunken use, the legislation also levies fines on pilots who perform dangerous stunts with their drone. Those caught quickly plunging the craft towards crowds could face fines of up to 500,000 yen.
Operators also face restrictions on where they can fly their craft under the new legislation.
Drones are now banned from being flown within 300m (985ft) of Japan’s armed forces, US military personnel and “defence-related facilities” without prior permission.
This follows an earlier ban on them approaching nuclear power plants, Japan’s parliament buildings and the prime minister’s office. The stadiums and other sites for the 2020 Olympics are also off-limits to drone pilots.