Mother concerned about 'peeping drone,' new bill wants to ban sex predators from drone use

Posted at 6:26 PM, Feb 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-23 22:02:16-05

A drone has been seemingly following a family with a teenage daughter. That’s the troubling experience a Venice mom had this week. She’s warning her neighbors and, now, a new bill seeks to control just who can fly them.

It’s that unmistakable buzz that made Michelle Powell look up. A drone was flying low about 100 feet above her pool.

“At first I thought it was funny because I had never seen one," she said, "But it stayed.”

It stayed just above her family for at least two minutes. Furthermore, her husband actually recognized it.

“He said it was the third or fourth time he’d seen it," she said.

The drone had been making multiple stops at the Powell's pool area, a hang out spot for the family's 13-year-old daughter and her friends, in just this month. 

“They run around in the swimsuits and it made me nervous," said Powell.

So she went to a Venice neighborhood news Facebook page and warned her neighbors.Only to find out, others had seen one hanging around their own homes.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, reports of drone sightings have increased dramatically over the past two years. The FAA getting more than 100 reports per month.

It’s not yet clear whether a person can legally fly a drone over private property but state legislation is catching up on the developing technology.

Senate Bill 1122 was just filed. It seeks to take drones out of the hands of sexual predators. But not completely. It states “if the predator is using the drone for the purpose of viewing or recording a minor" then that could mean a felony.

“When it stayed that was my thought," she said, "Could this be a pervert and what is their intention of just watching us?”

Powell is a fan of technology but told ABC Action News the law needs to be clear and homeowners should have privacy on their own property.



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