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FBI: $10,000 Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At an Aircraft 445

Posted by timothy
from the issue-sunglasses dept.
coondoggie writes "Here's a good idea: The FBI has launched a targeted, 60-day program that will offer up to a $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft. The FBI said the laser-pointing scourge continues to grow at an alarming rate. Since the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration began tracking laser strikes in 2005, there has been ridiculous 1,000% increase in the number of laser pointing/aircraft incidents. Last year, 3,960 laser strikes against aircraft were reported — an average of almost 11 incidents per day."
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FBI: $10,000 Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At an Aircraft

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  • Re:So..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @02:42PM (#46219917)

    No, this is the right approach. Every time you caught someone pointing a laser pointer to a plane, fine the idiot to bankruptcy to cover the rewards and potential damages to the crew, then throw some terrorism charges and lock them behind bars for 20 years and the number of incidents WILL get down.

    The issue here is idiots failing to understand the consequences of their actions and the potential damages they can cause. A harsh punishment will raise awareness on the problem and once enough awareness is achieved incidents will go down. Not to mention that finding and disposing of morons will potentially become a booming industry and we all benefit from finding and disposing of morons (even temporarily).

  • by hax4bux (209237) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @02:45PM (#46219975)

    I do not wear sunglasses when landing at night.

  • by SecurityGuy (217807) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @02:59PM (#46220133)

    This is very definitely a good idea, however I don't mind also taking morons who are deliberately messing with a vehicle carrying dozens to hundreds of live human beings and giving them a time out in a cell to think about why that's a stupid thing to do.

  • by SecurityGuy (217807) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:13PM (#46220353)

    Based on my experience with these things at a beach, yes, they're very bright at night, and far, far brighter than instrument lights. I'm not talking $5 laser pointer, but $30 higher output (still tens of mW) toys.

    I'm curious. Has anyone ever actually caused harm in US airspace with a laser pointer yet? Or are we creating a crime around something that has never caused harm?

    Has anyone ever caused harm on US highways with a laser pointer? If not, is it ok if they hang around on your route home and shine it in your eyes as you drive by? Again, based on my experience at the beach, having these things shined in my eyes as I'm driving would be a problem and a hazard. Does someone actually have to be hurt or killed before we say stop?

  • Re:So..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjcNO@SPAMcarpanet.net> on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:21PM (#46220497) Homepage

    And what, pray-tell are you basing your assumption that this will work on? Generally this making a harsh example of people theory seems to do little more than justify enforcement budgets and act as an excuse to not solve underlying problems than it does to actually curb the issues it is aimed at.

    I guess if you insist on not trying to find a creative solution that deals with the actual problem, foisting the issue off on law enforcement and blaming them for not being harsh or effective enough does effectively solve the issue for anyone who isn't all that interested in solving it.

  • by bonehead (6382) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:53PM (#46221035)

    Does someone actually have to be hurt or killed before we say stop?

    Well, given that HID headlamps are still legal, the answer seems to be "Yes".

  • Re:So..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @03:54PM (#46221047)

    There is nothing analogous in copyright infringement. Here we are talking about a moron intentionally putting hundred of life in danger for his or hers own amusement. Thats criminal behavior and should be prosecuted in a criminal court and a person that fails to understand something as basic as that SHOULD be locked away were it does not endanger others.

    And yes, I'm aware that harsh punishments is sometimes overkill, but in this case is deserved.

  • by coolsnowmen (695297) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @04:13PM (#46221297)

    For which wavelength?

  • Re:So..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sacdelta (135513) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @04:16PM (#46221329)

    35 incidents where pilots required medical attention. There's your damage.

    There are generally two ways to approach safety.
    1) Wait for consequences and then try to fix the cause
    2) Identify dangerous situations and fix them before people get hurt

    Either approach can be taken too far to the extreme, but in this case there have already been issues and the frequency of the incidents are increasing. I would rather stop the problem before a plane falls out of the sky. At 11 incidents PER DAY, statistics favor something happening.

    One could argue that "kids will be kids", but at what point is a kid playing with matches not considered safe. Tools exist and many tools are dangerous and it takes education and awareness to help people know how to use things properly.

    Personally, I think they should make an example out of a few of them and have them charged with 200 counts of attempted murder. It would certainly get some awareness to the issue.

  • Re:So..... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jklovanc (1603149) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @05:11PM (#46222091)

    is the FBI making pleas to the public to report snow ball throwers?

    I believe the FBI has jurisdiction over aircraft safety not random local snowball throwing.

    a snow ball couldn't occlude the windshield of a car? seems pretty likely to me.

    Not the whole windshield and it can be cleared by windshield wipers. Laser dazzle is complete and can last quite a while.

    by that logic then, pointing a laser at light aircraft shouldn't be reported to the FBI right?

    The first two reasons are enough.

    you need to consider the overall potential for mayhem and murder. there's a lot more kids throwing snowballs each day

    I really hate these "If you can't control everything we should not control anything" statements. Kids throwing snowballs have a much lower injury potential than laser dazzling pilots.

  • Re:So..... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by farble1670 (803356) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @06:18PM (#46222837)

    I believe the FBI has jurisdiction over aircraft safety not random local snowball throwing.

    okay sorry about that. is *anyone* FBI making pleas to the public to report snow ball throwers?

    I really hate these "If you can't control everything we should not control anything" statements. Kids throwing snowballs have a much lower injury potential than laser dazzling pilots.

    spend your effort on issues that are causing real problem, not hypothetical ones.

    Laser dazzle is complete and can last quite a while.

    well, snow sightedness can last even longer. see, i can make up fake medical terms as well. search for "laser dazzle" why don't you? you'll get a bunch of references to military grade laser weapons. sort of off topic.

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