Pointing a laser light at an aircraft is definitely dangerous—when the light hits the cockpit windshield it spreads out and can blind the pilot and crew and could cause them to crash, according to a recent WJZ-TV report.
Back in September, a 14-year-old boy from Middle River was arrested after he allegedly pointed a laser light at a Maryland State Police helicopter, blinding the crew. The boy was charged with reckless endangerment, attempted second-degree assault on police, obstructing and hindering police and prohibited use of a laser pointer.
Lawmakers in Annapolis are considering currently considering legislation that would have had the boy charged with the equivalent of second-degree assault of a police officer as a result of the incident.
The bill was introduced by Del. Sam Arora (D-Montgomery County) and a companion bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate soon.
"We need this law and I think when people find out that the current law says maybe a $500 fine and we’re talking about potential death, I think we are finding people in support of this bill," Arora told WJZ in an interview Tuesday evening.
Maryland State Police are supporting this legislation, spokesman Greg Shipley said. He added that Deputy Director of the Maryland State Police Avitation Division Chris Lovejoy testified Tuesday in Annapolis in favor of the bill.
"The fact is that this has been a serious issue for at least the last 18 months and puts the lives of the pilot, crew and patients in danger," Shipley said. "But it goes beyond that state police. What would happen if the pilot of a commercial jet was blinded with hundreds of people on board? The results could be deadly."
Do you agree that "lighting up" an aircraft should carry stiffer penalties? Tell us in the comments.