The Federal Aviation Administration has announced plans to impose fines as high as $11,000 upon those caught shining laser pointers into airplane cockpits.
Exposure to the beam emitted by such a device can result in temporary blindness, thus theoretically resulting in a major air catastrophe if a flight crew were unexpectedly incapacitated.
In a sense, such a regulation is all good and called for.
However, one can't but help ask the question how the perpetrators of such malfeasance can be identified at such a distance.
One account categorized the proposed penalty as civil rather than criminal in nature.
As such, it should be pointed out that the threshold to impose such are often lower and occasionally do not afford those they are leveled against with the traditional procedural protections of the judicial system.
In light of the way certain regulations regarding drug possession are implemented, these enforcement operations could end up being as much about raising revenue and seizing desired property as it is about making the skies a friendlier place to fly.
For example, under certain instances of civil penalties and forfeiture, those ultimately cleared of any criminal wrong doing in regards to the drug offenses leveled against them do not necessarily have their property returned to them despite never having been convicted as a part of due process.
Often assorted agencies end up retaining the seized objects and parcels or require those such possessions should rightly revert back to to go through additional bureaucratic procedures that consume both time and resources. This is for the purpose of pressuring the individual to relent to the seizure of their property and to further enrich the lawyers for whom the regulatory behemoth was ultimately designed to benefit. read more »