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Calder says Handheld Lasers a clear and present danger

Calder says Handheld Lasers a clear and present danger


National MP Dr Cam Calder is to introduce a Members Bill to Parliament to control the use of handheld laser pointer devices.

Dr Calder has expressed concern over the dangers posed to air traffic through the misuse of laser devices and says that, "put into the wrong hands, over the counter handheld lasers can cause considerable harm".

Citing recent media reports of handheld lasers endangering passenger aeroplanes and police helicopters, Dr Calder said that it was time for Parliament to send a clear message to those who seek to harm others through their irresponsible behaviour, that laser pointers can be extremely dangerous and their misuse will not be tolerated.

"This latest event where an evening flight from Auckland had a laser aimed at the cockpit as the plane made its approach to Dunedin airport, is the latest in a worrying number of incidents in New Zealand, this year".

"In the wrong hands laser misuse could cause a catastrophe. They can permanently blind people and I am concerned at the frequency of their being misused and endangering lives, particularly when aimed at the pilots of aircraft" says Dr Calder.

There have been an increasing number of incidents concerning the dangerous use of handheld lasers worldwide with 18 cases reported by New Zealand pilots over the past 12 months.

Dr Calder said "I have drafted a Bill, designed to reduce the chances of laser misuse. It is my intention to introduce this bill to Parliament as part of the ballot system, at the next available opportunity" he concluded.


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