NO DRONES HERE

Believe it or not, in the Town of Hemsptead, Long Island, where I grew and where my parents still live, there is a Town Ordinance (77–8) concerning the “Regulation of unmanned aircraft in the vicinity of Town facilities.”

This law was passed in June 2016, due to the “proliferation” of unmanned aircraft, otherwise known as drones.

This led to this sign I passed on my run yesterday at the Woodmere Docks (public access dock to the Atlantic Ocean).

Now, I understand that perhaps this law wasn’t specifically aimed at Wooodmere Docks, it simply falls under the definition of “Town facilities.” I assume there are such signs spread throughout the town (didn’t time to check…).

But my question is — why drones?? What prompted the town legislature and management to go to the trouble of not only enacting this law but then printing up signs and hanging them up — even at Woodmere Docks? There is nothing else worthy of its’ own dedicated sign at entrance to Woodmere Docks.

Without having polled members of the Town of Hemspstead council, I can only make my own guesses as to why the focus on drones.

Drones are noisy, can be physically dangerous, and don’t seamlessly fit in to nature — but I can argue the same about many things not currently specifically forbidden, and certainly not singled out with their own law or big sign (few examples: blasting music from car stereo systems, leaving car engines running, eating food using vast amount of packaging that then overwhelms the trash facilities, cigarette smoking, chewing gum, all of which are actually problematic at Woodmere Docks).

Drones are the first mass consumer roll out that bring into the forefront some of our basic fears about technology — and how it can go too far too quickly.

The very name, drone, has to many a negative subtext. But much more so the actual usage of drones, the most popular models outfitted with high-resolution cameras, tap into our fears about privacy, safety and over all “big brother.”

Of course there are completely fun uses of drones, like taking nice aeriel photos, drone racing. Kind of a modern version of flying a kite. Except no wind is preferred!

Still not sure what one would do at Woodmere Docks with a drone — can you rig a fishing pole up to a drone??

And if so — is somebody right now writing software to train the drone to know how to fish on its’ own? Just imagine sending the drone out on a cold and wintry day to catch a few, while you sit in the comfort of your [electric] SUV.

Wonder if I can patent that?

Drone on. Just not at Woodmere Docks. Not until Town Ordinance (77–8) is struck down!

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