Hand-held lasers bill to receive first reading
Dr Cam Calder MP
National List MPMedia Statement
25 September 2013
Bill to reduce the risks posed by hand-held lasers to receive first reading
National MP Dr Cam Calder’s bill to reduce the risks posed by hand-held lasers has passed its first reading today in Parliament.
“Time and again lives are being put in danger by an idiot, or idiots, misusing a laser pointer. My Summary Offences (Possession of Hand-held Lasers) Amendment Bill will make possession of a hand-held laser in a public place, without reasonable excuse, an offence,” Dr Calder said.
“Hand-held laser pointers have the potential to cause considerable harm, and put lives at risk when improperly used. My bill will bring greater accountability, and offer Police an additional tool to deal with this reckless behaviour.
“Each year, the Civil Aviation Authority receives more than 100 reports of lasers being shone into the cockpits of aircrafts. The number of reports has been increasing steadily since 2007. The consequences of an accident caused by laser misuse could be catastrophic to both travellers and residents.
“The Ministry of Health is currently leading development of regulations around the importation and sale of hand-held lasers, which will further reduce the risk of these instruments.
“My bill is about prevention. It will complement the new regulations and fill a legislative gap which currently exists in New Zealand.
“Laser pointers are not toys, and it is important that we realise the huge harm that the misuse of these devices can cause and act accordingly,” Dr Calder said.