New Jersey law targets use of lasers against truckers, others

| 8/31/2007

There now should be one less thing to worry about while driving down the road in New Jersey.

Gov. Jon Corzine has signed a bill into law allowing hefty fines to be levied on people who aim laser lighting devices at people operating airplanes, cars, trucks, buses, trains and other vehicles. It took effect immediately.

Laser pointer manufacturers said they don’t have a problem with cracking down on those who abuse the technology that allows users to point to objects as far away as 25,000 feet. The pointers are popular among astronomers for pointing out stars.

The issue of laser pointers gained notoriety a few years ago when a New Jersey man allegedly aimed a laser at a plane landing at the Teterboro, NJ, airport. He said he was pointing out a star to his daughter.

Since then, news reports from around the country have detailed instances when people shined laser lights at vehicles, aircraft and law enforcement officers.

The new law, previously A415, allows fines of up to $1,000 for anyone who shines a laser at a vehicle. A laser-wielding scofflaw would also face up to six months in jail. If the usage of a laser causes injury, stiffer penalties would result.

The new law also prohibits persons from throwing or shooting something at vehicles, as well as delaying or preventing the operation of vehicles.

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Jersey in 2007, click here.