Indiana law limits use of drones

Right now. the drone business is a buzz across Indiana. Matt Austin started Aerial Imaging Resources a few years ago. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Nowadays, people are looking for new ways to capture great video, but a new state law could get users in trouble if they get too close.

Right now. the drone business is a buzz across Indiana. Matt Austin started Aerial Imaging Resources a few years ago.

“I like new technology,” Austin said. A passion that’s turned into big business.

“We have more work than we can handle at the moment,” Austin said.

He’s not alone. Andrew Hawes started Indy Aerial Photography three years ago, and has doubled his business each year.

“With drones, you’ve got the ability to be set free,” Hawes said. “You can get in pretty tight spots, and get a completely different perspective.”

The unique angle is what worries some legislators. Because of this, as of July, users can be criminally charged.

Here’s how: if a drone is used by a sex offender to capture images of people, if someone gets in the way of an investigation, uses a drone to peep or harasses someone.

“Anyone, or hobbyist trying to do anything negative with technology, I think it prevents that,” Austin said.

Another reason for the law: It’s easier to get a drone. Commercial technology may be heavy, and cost thousands, but recreational drones can be under a pound, a cost less than $100. Overall, the Federal Aviation Administration said there are more than 9,000 registered drones across Indiana.

“It’s only going to make the skies safer and easier for the guys that want to get out there and do it the right way,” Hawes said. With so many opportunities, experts know more will turn to drones, which is why they said this new law is critical.

“I think it’s really going to start booming here in the next couple years,” Austin said. “You’re going to see these everywhere,” Hawes said. “It’s only the tip of the iceberg, right now.”

The law allows for misdemeanors or felonies, based on past criminal history. If convicted, you could not only face prison time, but fines upwards of $10,000.

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