Laser glare daz­zles late-night driver

Hinckley Times - - NEWS -

LO­CAL po­lice re­ceived a re­port of a laser light be­ing shone at a mo­torist in Sib­son.

The re­port came in on on the morn­ing of De­cem­ber 17 with the driver claim­ing he had been “blinded” by the light which came from another ve­hi­cle.

He was un­able to give of­fi­cers any de­tails of the al­leged of­fend­ers’ ve­hi­cle due to the glare.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened at around mid­night on De­cem­ber 16 on the A444 be­tween Sib­son and Welles­bor­ough.

It was among a va­ri­ety of in­ci­dents re­ported to Mar­ket Bos­worth Po­lice dur­ing a busy 48 hour pe­riod.

Pro­posed new penal­ties for laser per­pe­tra­tors will mean jail for of­fend­ers as the Govern­ment aims to clamp down on the po­ten­tially “cat­a­strophic” prac­tice.

Thanks to new leg­is­la­tion put for­ward by the Depart­ment for Trans­port any­one con­victed of shin­ing a laser at the op­er­a­tor of any ve­hi­cle could face five years in pri­son. They could also re­ceive un­lim­ited fines.

Un­der cur­rent leg­is­la­tion, which only cov­ers air­craft, the max­i­mum penalty for us­ing lasers against a pi­lot is £2,500.

The Laser Mis­use (Ve­hi­cles) Bill ex­pands the types of trans­port which are cov­ered to in­clude ve­hi­cles in­clud­ing cars, trains, buses, boats and hov­er­craft.

Pros­e­cu­tors will no longer need to prove in­tent, just that a laser was used.

It will be an of­fence to daz­zle or distract the op­er­a­tor of a ve­hi­cle ei­ther de­lib­er­ately or if rea­son­able pre­cau­tions to avoid do­ing so are not taken.

Laser pens have be­come a grow­ing con­cern with the beam from the de­vices ca­pa­ble of af­fect­ing the abil­ity of trans­port op­er­a­tors to con­trol their ve­hi­cles.

Last year, the Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity re­ceived re­ports of 1,258 laser in­ci­dents, with Heathrow the most fre­quent lo­ca­tion for re­ports of the de­vices be­ing used reck­lessly.

Na­tional Po­lice Chiefs’ Coun­cil lead for lasers, Com­man­der Si­mon Bray said: “Reck­lessly shin­ing a laser at an air­craft or another mov­ing ve­hi­cle is deeply ir­re­spon­si­ble and dan­ger­ous. By caus­ing a dis­trac­tion or, in some cases, short or long-term eye dam­age, laser at­tacks can lead to cat­a­strophic in­ci­dents.”

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