Michigan lawmakers looking at tightening drone laws
(WJBK) - Drone regulations in Michigan are loose but could be changing soon if a few lawmakers get their way.
They're supposed to be used for fun but so far in the state drones have been used to deliver drugs to a prison or have interfered with police investigations.
"There's classifications on where you can fly and where you can't fly and before you do any flight you need to make sure you're in a good location where you're not breaking any laws," said FOX 2's own Derek Kevra, a licensed meteorologist and also an FAA certified remote pilot operator.
And if you fly commercial like Derek, it takes two people -- one to operate and the other to record video footage for Fox 2 and to look out for safety.
"We want to make sure no one gets harmed and or we damage any property," said our photojournalist Kent Culpert..
Derek joined several other FOX 2 journalists to take an online course and pass an exam to do this.
"Let's face it, your people at Fox that are flying the drone they have commercial pilot credentials and my 15-year-old son who has a drone does not," said attorney Vince Colella.
And there in line is the problem. Colella is diving into the drone dilemma -- 2.5 million people are flying them in the United States.
"If you're in your backyard with your kid and they've got an 8 to 10 pound drone and they are flying it around and that drone then gets flown over to a traffic area and it causes a motor vehicle accident, you as the homeowner could be responsible for your child's flying of that drone," he said.
But that's just the start. There are other more serious threats sailing through the skies in Michigan. Lawmakers are looking to do something about it.
"One of the bills involve no-fly zone's and terms of correctional facilities and that was spawned by an incident in which a drone tried to drop drugs into a prison yard," Colella said.
Another bill introduced in the House would prevent drones from getting in the way of police and medical services after a drone interrupted with an air rescue in Tuscola County.