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New Pa. legistlation to restrict drone use

October 15, 2018 News Extra

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A new state law sponsored by a Butler County legislator puts restrictions on how drones can be used in Pennsylvania.

The legislation, Act 78, was signed into law last week by Gov. Tom Wolf. It makes using an unmanned aircraft to “intentionally or knowingly conduct surveillance of another person in a private place or to place another person in reasonable fear of bodily injury” a summary offense.

The law also makes using a drone to deliver, provide, transmit or furnish contraband to a person in a prison or mental hospital a second-degree felony.

The law provides some exceptions for law enforcement officials, first responders and utility company employees, as well as government employees using drones in the course of their official duties.

The bill, HB 1346, was sponsored by Rep. Jeff Pyle, R-60th, who said state law had failed to keep up with technological advances in recent years.

“Although drones have proven to have some valuable uses, these devices should not be used to invade someone's privacy,” Pyle said. “With my legislation, law enforcement will have the proper tool to prosecute someone who willing uses drones to spy on people.”

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