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New Proposed NJ Bill Aimed to Protect School Grounds from Drones

New Proposed NJ Bill Aimed to Protect School Grounds from Drones

In response to a concerning incident, earlier this year at Elsinboro Township School in Salem County, Assemblyman Dave Bailey, Jr. (3rd legislative district) has introduced legislation aimed at restricting the usage of drones from hovering or surveilling on school grounds without the prior consent of school administrators.

The incident in question involved a drone equipped with photography equipment discovered flying on the premises of Elsinboro Township School. Subsequent investigation revealed that the drone belonged to a real estate company and had been used to photograph several other area schools.

New Proposed NJ Bill Aimed to Protect School Grounds from Drone

New Proposed NJ Bill Aimed to Protect School Grounds from Drone

This activity drew the attention of both school administrators and law enforcement, prompting Assemblyman Bailey to take action.

Assemblyman Bailey, speaking about the motivation behind the proposed legislation, emphasized the paramount importance of ensuring the safety of children.

“The safety of our children is of the utmost importance to me,” he stated. “What occurred at Elsinboro Township School was a serious security violation. We must prevent the misuse of drones by bad actors, especially when it comes to protecting schools.”

The proposed bill, designated as A4128, specifically targets drones that operate without authorization and linger on school property below 250 feet. It prohibits the takeoff and landing of drones on school grounds without prior consent.

However, flying over school property remains legal, with exceptions made for drone use by government and law enforcement entities.

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Elsinboro Township School Superintendent Laural Kretzer expressed gratitude for Assemblyman Bailey’s proactive stance in introducing the legislation.

“Implementing measures to curb drone activities around educational institutions is indispensable for safeguarding student well-being and upholding a conducive and secure learning environment,” she remarked.

Assemblywoman Heather Simmons has joined Assemblyman Bailey as a Co-Sponsor of the bill in the Assembly, demonstrating bipartisan support for the initiative. Additionally, Senator John Burzichelli is sponsoring the bill’s Senate counterpart.

The introduction of this legislation reflects a growing awareness of the potential risks associated with drones and underscores the need for proactive measures to protect sensitive areas such as schools.

As technology continues to advance, policymakers are tasked with balancing innovation with public safety, particularly in environments where vulnerable populations, such as children, are present.

If passed, the bill would serve as a significant step towards mitigating the risks posed by unauthorized drone activity near schools, ensuring that educational institutions remain safe havens for learning and growth.

As discussions around the regulation of drone usage evolve, stakeholders are urged to consider the implications for privacy, security, and the well-being of communities.

What do you think of this bill? Let us know.