Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday vetoed legislation to restrict the use of drones over private property.
The legislation would have made flying a drone lower than 350 feet above private property without consent a trespass violation.
“Drone technology certainly raises novel issues that merit careful examination,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “This bill, however, while well-intentioned, could expose the occasional hobbyist and the FAA-approved commercial user alike to burdensome litigation and new causes of action.
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), author of the bill, has said the measure would prevent camera-equipped drones from peeping into windows or other invasions of privacy.
An organization representing news photographers had urged the governor to veto the bill, SB 142, saying it would be impossible to comply with or enforce.
The National Press Photographers Assn. said news photographers using drones could be sued if the vehicles strayed onto someone’s property while “gathering newsworthy information at a different nearby location.”
The organization also said it could be difficult for property owners to determine a drone’s exact altitude or location, which could prompt erroneous legal claims.
In July, the California Assembly Judiciary Committee voted 9-to-1 to pass SB 142, a bill that would ban drones from flying over private property at distances under 350 feet without consent.
If your interested in reading the contents of the bill feel free to read it below.
Vote: majority Appropriation: no Fiscal Committee: no Local Program: no
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1708.83 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
(a) A person wrongfully occupies real property and is liable for damages pursuant to Section 3334 if, without express permission of the person or entity with the legal authority to grant access or without legal authority, he or she operates an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system less than 350 feet above ground level within the airspace overlaying the real property.
Section 21012 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:
“Aircraft” means any manned contrivance used or designed for navigation of, or flight in, the air requiring certification and registration as prescribed by federal statute or regulation. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, manned lighter-than-air balloons and ultralight vehicles as defined in the regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration (14 C.F.R. Part 103), whether or not certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration, shall not be considered to be aircraft for purposes of this part. “Aircraft” shall not include an unmanned aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.