Warren to consider drone ordinance


Publish date: 20160108

Original Copy:

They hover in the sky, with the simple flip of a remote control.

And while drones have many talking, Warren council woman Helen Rucker says a drone at a community festival had the crowd throwing a few interesting questions into the air.

"Who's liable if that thing falls on someone's head," said Rucker.

"I don't know, would you want something like this coming through your windshield?" said owner of Hobby Time Chuck Allen.

After talking with the city attorney, Rucker decided to author an ordinance which would place restrictions on drones, and protect the city if a pilot damages properties or hurts someone.

The FAA recently enacted restrictions for commercial drones, or drones weighing more than .5 lbs.

"Registering each drone just like a five dollar fee. It's not that big of a deal, you have to put a number on it that way if the drone goes down or you lose it they know who to return it to," said Allen.

Council woman Rucker says the city is taking the federal restrictions a step further with the proposed ordinance

Filming or recording over public events, we want to know who you are and when you're up there." said Rucker.

If passed, the ordinance will also charge a hefty 250 dollar registration fee to cover the costs. The fee will only apply to commercial drones, not small ones usually used as a toy for children.

Rucker says while drones started the discussion, the city hopes the public will continue it. She says they plan to hold several meetings before bringing the drone legislation to a vote on council.