There have been issues recently of individuals flying over top of schools around the country and lingering there. These individuals are suspected of taking images of the children going to the schools and just taking unauthorized surveillance of the area. That’s a pretty serious issue that needed addressing all around the country, and thanks to Louisiana House Bill 19 the problem has now been identified as a crime and it’s a prosecutable offense if you live in Louisiana and you’re using the drone for surveillance purposes over a school.
No Drones above Schools
It’s now illegal to fly drones over top of a school when that drone is capable of capturing videos or photos while doing so. That means if you have any drone with a camera or recording device you must keep it well away from any school grounds in your local area. If you do not follow these laws you could receive a relatively serious penalty for breaking the law. The penalty could be as large as a $2,000 fine and up to six months in jail. While the penalty given out will be on a case-by-case basis, it’s important to keep this rule in mind each time that you take your drone out for a flight.
Safe School Practices
If you are flying a drone outside, make sure that you are aware of where all the local schools are. Taking the time to learn where schools are will help you avoid unknowingly flying over top of school grounds and possibly committing a crime that you aren’t trying to commit. Sure, you would likely realize you were over a school before your presence there became a serious issue, but it’s better to be safe and make sure you know where you are flying before you even leave the house. That’s the very best way to ensure that you aren’t going to break any local laws during the flight.
As long as you’re smart with your drone you shouldn’t run into any issues while flying it. Make sure that friends and family members know the law as well if they happen to own a drone. Schools often offer large open areas that are ideal for flying drones, but now you know that they aren’t a good idea. It’s better to go to a public park or a friend’s property to fly your drone around than it is to risk trouble by flying around a school. You could also fly without any cameras or surveillance equipment, but you will then have to explain to law enforcement that you don’t have any, and prove it to them, and it’s easier to just avoid the issue entirely.