While flying a remote-controlled helicopter, plane or even a small drone might seem like harmless, all-American park fun, it’s illegal in all Santa Clarita parks, officials said.
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And flying your remote-controlled devices could earn you a citation.
The idea behind the rule banning such devices is a safety consideration, said Rick Gould, director of parks, recreation and community service for Santa Clarita.
“The code was adopted some time ago, but those types of devices, just like a golf ball or anything that’s thrown, could hit a park user,” Gould said.
Sheriff’s Station officials are hearing an increased number of complaints involving “buzzing,” or flying a remote-controlled device near a person or group of individuals, officials confirmed Monday.
“If an individual gets struck with a remote-controlled craft, it could lead to serious injury, or even death,” Dubin said, citing a case in New York last year, when a man nearly decapitated himself in a fatal toy helicopter crash. “The city’s policy is meant to further the safety and enjoyment of all park-goers, and violators could face a citation.”
The city’s rule essentially bans all remote-controlled aerial or aquatic devices unless their use is specifically sanctioned by a park official.
The city’s municipal code regarding the subject (section 14.06.210 E) lays out the policy: “No person shall operate in any park any model airplane, boat, car, craft, or other similar device that is powered by an internal combustion engine, remote control, or other similar or electrical power source, except in an area and at such times as designated for such use by the director.”
Buzzing and other safety concerns are the main reason for the ordinance, officials said, because things could become problematic if residents are trying to do too many disparate activities in a small area.
“If you’re at a soccer game, you sort of expect a soccer ball,” Gould said. “At some point, you just can’t do everything in the same place.”
Sheriff’s Station officials noted they have seen an uptick in activity in the city’s parks, including the use of remote-controlled helicopters, airplanes and boats.
Gould suggested residents take to Castaic Lake if they are so inclined with their battery-operated, remote-controlled fun.
Los Angeles County officials have an area at the lake where residents can fulfill their fun with such toys legally until their heart’s content.
The FAA lays out the rules, regulations and qualifications necessary regarding commercial drone operation, which would be subject to Santa Clarita’s municipal ordinance.
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Source: Santa Clarita News