What might seem like an innocent prank can cost lives. Laser lights have a really long range and can momentarily blind a medical flight pilot. The result could be catastrophic with loss of lives and huge damage to property. It is believed that the United States alone sees about 5000 of these mindless laser light pranks every year. Although the authorities have tried to bring the subject to the notice of general public, it seems to have made little difference. We get to read about laser light incidents even today.
There is a Hefty Fine and Jail Term for this Offence
Flashing a laser light to a medical flight or any flight for that matter can land the perpetrator in jail. The jail term can run up to 25 years and attract a fine up to $250,000 dollars. That’s not all; the investigations into mischief like this are intense. There have been instances where agencies like the FBI, Federal Aviation Administration and the local police have come together to catch the perpetrators.
There have been Convictions for Flashing Laser Lights
There was one instance where the FBI was offering $10,000 for information regarding laser light flashers in 2012. In the same year, a California man was sentenced to 14 years in jail. For this 26-year-old man, his prank cost his youth.
What people do not know is that medical flights can often give the authorities a general location from where this crime is committed immediately as they are always in radio contact with the ground crew and action is possible swiftly. So, what begins as a prank with a $50 device becomes a ticket to years of prison time. The people in general need to be aware of the dangers of laser lights in the United States and also educate others of its dangers.