ministers are to finally clamp down on laser pen yobs after years of whitehall dithering and ducking

by:EME LIGHTING     2020-03-17
After years of hesitation and avoidance in Whitehall, ministers will eventually ban the laser pen yobs.
Tightening rules may include licensing for powerful lasers and a full advertising ban on dangerous light sticks.
Official figures show that only 140 people have been convicted of using a laser pointer on a plane.
Although more than 8,000 incidents have been reported since 2010.
Last year, a pilot of an overhead rescue helicopter was temporarily blind due to a laser attack, which could lead to a fatal crash.
On February 2016, a Virgin Airbus A340 carrying £ 267 had to return to Heathrow shortly after taking off because yobs attacked the pilot.
The dazzling light shocked the first officer, who was sick and forced the crew to suspend their trip to New York.
When the transfer decision was made, flight VS025 had flown over Ireland.
Given the prevailing problems, airline pilots are concerned about the regulation of laser indicators
The equipment available may cause eye damage and, in some cases, temporary blindness.
While there are no specific proposals on the table, the government says it will consider a range of security-enhancing ideas such as licensing for retailers and shoppers and advertising restrictions.
Licensing programs already exist in countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States.
Margot James, commerce minister, said: \"These products are irresponsible or maliciously used, which can cause serious damage and harm to others and can have catastrophic consequences.
\"Launch an eight
\"Public safety is critical and we have to look closely at it to ensure that regulations keep up with the increasing use of these devices,\" she added.
\"While we know that most users do not intend to be hurt at all, many do not know the safety risks and serious health effects of laser indicators that are directly exposed to people\'s eyes.
Firing a laser on a plane will be fined up to £ 2,500. However, after the June election, the government\'s legislative plan canceled measures to make it easier for the police to prove crimes.
Last night, the British Airways pilot Association welcomed the move, saying: \"At the critical stage of the flight, the pilot is amazing, dazzling, distracting, and has the potential to cause a crash and loss of life.
Boss Brian Strutton: \"This is especially a problem for helicopters because they run close to the ground and sometimes single --
Pilot operation.
\"There is also growing concern that as the available laser power increases, the possibility of permanent damage to the eyes of pilots and passengers increases.
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