Japan Bans Drink-Droning

Japan Bans Drink-Droning

Everyone is aware of the dangers and consequences of drink-driving, but now Japan has outlawed drink-droning – operating a drone while under the influence of alcohol – following a series of accidents.

Earlier last week, the country’s parliament passed legislation that prevented users from operating a drone while drunk to reduce the number of collisions and accidents due to unmanned aerial devices.

Those who break the law and are caught flying a drone heavier than 200 grams while drunk could be fined up to 300,000 yen (£2,160).

As well as not being allowed to operate a drone after consuming alcohol, performance stunts – such as sharp drops in crowded areas that could put people in danger – have also been banned and could result in fines of 500,000 yen.

Drones are also not allowed to be used within 300 metres (985 ft) of Japan’s or the USA’s armed forces and ‘defence-related facilities’ unless owners have prior permission.

A Transport Ministry official told AAP: “We believe operating drones after consuming alcohol is as serious as (drink) driving.”

This legislation follows previous bans, including the prevention of flying drones near nuclear power plants, the Prime Minster’s office or other parliament buildings, and any stadiums or sites being used for the 2020 Olympics.

Japan is being extremely strict regarding its drone use to ensure the safety of the public, after a number of injuries have occurred in recent years.

For instance, six people were hurt at a ‘robot festival’ in Gifu Prefecture in 2017 after a drone, which was meant to scatter sweets from the air for children, stopped working and fell to the ground.

Prior to this, a drone carrying radioactive materials was found on the roof of the Prime Minister’s residence in Tokyo. It was thought anti-nuclear protestor Yasuo Yamamoto, who received a two-year jail sentence for the crime, was making a statement to the government about its role in the nuclear industry.

Singapore might follow in Japan’s footsteps and impose restrictions on where and when drones can be used to ensure they are operated safely, so the devices can be enjoyed fully, after the aerial equipment recently disrupted flights at the airport.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) confirmed arrival and departure flights were carefully regulated between 20:07 and 21:07 on Monday (June 24th) due to unauthorised drone activities.

Seven flights ended up being diverted at Singapore Changi, while 15 departures and three arrivals were delayed.

This occurred just a few days after the travel hub suspended operations from one of its runways as a result of drone sightings nearby.

The CAAS warned users they might be charged up to S$20,000 (£11,513) or even a year in prison if found guilty of operating unmanned aircraft near to the flight path, as this “may pose threats to aviation or endanger the personal safety of others”.

Of course, using drones in a safe manner and in a secure area that will not affect other people is imperative, and can allow the operator to get the most out of the exciting technology. Get in touch with us today if you’re in the need for a tourism VR company or drone equipment for your company.

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