ASSEMBLY, No. 4344

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 7, 2015

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  ANNETTE QUIJANO

District 20 (Union)

Assemblyman  DANIEL R. BENSON

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblyman  ANGEL FUENTES

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblyman  JOSEPH A. LAGANA

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman O'Scanlon and Assemblywoman Pinkin

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes fourth degree crime of conducting surveillance of critical infrastructures using drones and requires certain drones to be registered and insured.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning unmanned aerial vehicles and supplementing Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes and Title 6 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  a.  As used in this act:

     “Civilian unmanned aerial vehicle” means an aerial vehicle 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 as defined in this section.

     “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, communications; financial; computers; transportation; 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 utility, 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.

     “Surveillance” means the act of monitoring, observing, photographing, listening to, or making a recording of a person or group of persons or their movements, activities, and communications.

     b.  A person who uses a civilian unmanned aerial vehicle to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information or data about, or photographically or electronically record any critical infrastructure without the prior written consent of the entity that owns or operates the critical infrastructure shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

 

     2.  a. A person shall not operate a civilian unmanned aerial vehicle as defined in section 1 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) unless it is registered with the Director of the Division of Aeronautics in the Department of Transportation.  The director shall establish procedures for registration pursuant to this section.

     b.  A person who violates the provisions of subsection a. of this section shall be liable 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.  For a second or subsequent offense, a person’s registration required by subsection a. of this section shall be revoked for a period of two years.  

     The civil penalty shall be collected pursuant to the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

     c.  The Commissioner of Transportation shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section.

 

     3.  a. A person shall not operate a civilian unmanned aerial vehicle as defined in section 1 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) unless the person maintains liability insurance coverage for the civilian unmanned aerial vehicle, under provisions approved by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, insuring against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for bodily injury, death, and property damage sustained by any person arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation, or use of the civilian unmanned aerial vehicle with minimum coverage in an amount determined by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance in consultation with the Commissioner of Transportation.

     b.  A person who violates the provisions of subsection a. of this section shall be liable 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.  For a second or subsequent offense, a person’s registration required by subsection a. of section 2 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be revoked for a period of two years.

     The civil penalty shall be collected pursuant to the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

 

     4.  This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month following enactment, but the Commissioner of Transportation and the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance may take such administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes a fourth degree crime of conducting surveillance of a critical infrastructure using a privately owned drone.  The bill also requires certain drones to be registered and insured. 

     Specifically, this 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 any 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 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, communications; financial; computers; transportation; 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 utility, 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 Division of Aeronautics in the Department of Transportation.  In addition, a person is prohibited 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 required minimum coverage is to be in an amount determined by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance in consultation with the Commissioner of Transportation.

     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, a person’s civilian drone registration is to be revoked for a period of two years.