Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, has announced legislation to punish people who shine laser pointers into cockpits, train cabs and cars.
These handheld laser pens may seem to have an end point but they can go further than the naked eye sees. Mr Grayling hopes the changes to the law will deter future offences, therefore protecting the safety of drivers.
In an aeroplane, when a light is shone into the cockpit, it creates a very bright flash. Despite not looking like they have a long reach, these devices can shine up to 20km (12 miles) into the air. An average flight takes place at roughly 12km in the air (7.5 miles), well within the reach of the beam.
The result of a light shined against the window is similar regardless of the vehicle type. Whatever colour the pointer, the entire cab will likely be illuminated with an intense glare from the screen in that colour. This is demonstrated below.
As you can imagine, disruptions to any vehicle could cause major consequences. Disruption on the road it may cause a crash. On a train, they could cause the driver to not see a red light or they might fail to utilise emergency breaks. With an airplane it could cause a severe disruption to the stability of the flight. All of these outcomes can risk serious injury or even death for one or more people.
Current laws punish those found guilty of pointing a device towards vehicles fined £2,500. This is not enough according to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. New legislation will now give Police the right to effectively investigate individual incidents. This will give them more powers to bring offenders to justice.
The announcement suggests more than a fine is on the cards for anybody caught shining a laser at vehicles. There is the possibility of prison sentences and criminal charges for putting innocent lives are also on the agenda.
If you have been hurt because of an incident involving a laser pointer, you should report this to the police. From eye injuries caused by the beam, to personal injury if the vehicle is involved in a collision. The injuries caused by the misuse of laser pens can be severe.
You can also claim against the offenders for injuries caused. It is not right for you to suffer because somebody decides to take a careless course of action. If you want to know more about making a claim for personal injury, visit the Scott Rees and Co website.
Alternatively, you can either fill in our online form or call 01695 722 222 to speak to us today. (Lines are open from 9am to 7pm on weekdays).
We operate on a no win no fee basis. This means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you wont pay us a penny.
Dan Mumford; Flickr; https://www.flickr.com/photos/danmumford/2927433507/