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  • NJ A2946
  • Criminalizes using drones to conduct surveillance of or fly over critical infrastructures; requires certain drones to be registered and insured.
Introduced
(2/16/2016)
In Committee
(2/16/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill establishes a fourth degree crime of conducting surveillance of or flying over a critical infrastructure using a privately owned drone. The bill also requires certain drones to be registered and insured. Specifically, the bill makes it a fourth degree crime for a person to use a civilian unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly referred to as a drone, to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information or data about, or photographically or electronically record a critical infrastructure or to fly a drone over a critical infrastructure without the prior written consent of the entity that owns or operates the critical infrastructure. A fourth degree crime is punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. The bill provides that its provisions regarding the establishment of a fourth degree crime of conducting surveillance of or flying over a critical infrastructure using a privately owned drone do not apply to a private individual or business entity that has received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate a civilian drone pursuant to the federal "FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012," provided the operation of the drone complies with any operating conditions or limitations imposed by the FAA. The bill defines a "civilian unmanned aerial vehicle" as an aerial vehicle that is owned or operated by a private individual or business entity that uses aerodynamic forces to propel the vehicle and does not carry a human operator, and which is capable of flying autonomously or being piloted remotely and conducting surveillance. Under the bill, "critical infrastructure" means any system, facility, or asset that is vital to this State such that the incapacity or destruction of the system, facility, or asset or any part thereof would have an impact on the physical or economic security or the public health or safety of this State including, but not limited to, an impact on: communications; financial operations; computers; transportation; the military; government services; emergency services; sewerage, including a public sewage facility; water, including a water treatment facility or a public water facility; waste water; waste treatment facility; energy, including a power generation facility or a nuclear electric generating plant; public utilities, including utility company property; telecommunications; health care; research, including a research facility; chemical refining, including any facility which stores, generates, or handles any hazardous chemical or chemical compounds; pharmaceutical services; ports; bridges; tunnels; overpasses; or highways. The bill also prohibits a person from operating a civilian drone unless it is registered with the Director of the Division of Aeronautics in the Department of Transportation. In addition, the bill prohibits a person from operating a civilian drone unless the person maintains liability insurance coverage to insure against loss resulting from liability for bodily injury, death, and property damage sustained by any person arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation, or use of the drone. The bill specifies that the required minimum coverage is to be in an amount determined by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance in consultation with the Commissioner of Transportation. The bill does not mandate that insurers licensed to do business in this State provide coverage for civilian unmanned aerial vehicles. The bill provides that a person who operates a civilian drone without the required registration or insurance is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 for a first offense and not less than $5,000 for a second or subsequent offense. In addition, for a second or subsequent offense, the bill provides that a person's civilian drone registration is to be revoked for a period of two years.
Homeland Security and State Preparedness
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee  (on 2/16/2016)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
2/16/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified