Carmel City Council regulates use of drones

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Unmanned aircraft systems, commonly called drones, have grown in popularity and are being used more frequently by private citizens for business and hobbies. These remote-controlled flying machines can fly over a crowd and take photos or video.

The Carmel City Council has passed new rules regulating the use of these devices at public events. The ordinance states that the city has the right to regulate “property that might endanger the public health, safety or welfare” and prohibit “the recording of images or data of any kind on the private property of another person.”

The city will require that any drone operator receive approval before flying an unmanned aircraft system within 500 yards of or anywhere above an event. Law enforcement can also ban drones if there is reasonable suspicion to believe there is immediate danger of death or serious injury to any person.

The ordinance provides exceptions, such as locating a lost child or taking a photo of an event with permission from the event organizer. Other exceptions exist compliant with federal laws.

The penalty shall not exceed $500 for this new law. The drone can be impounded for no more than seven days.

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