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Yesterday’s arrest of a man flashing a laser at the Police’s Eagle helicopter in Christchurch is further evidence the current law is not strong enough, Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says.

“People continue to point lasers at helicopters and planes which demonstrates the current penalties in place are doing little to deter offenders.

“My High-Power Laser Pointer Offences and Penalties Bill will not only deter offenders but also raise awareness about an issue which poses a great risk to pilots and passengers.

“The Bill proposes to double the maximum fine to $4000 and double the term of imprisonment from three to six months. It will also make it an offence to have a high-power laser in possession in both public and private places.

“Pilots continue to ask for harsher penalties as incidents keep occurring but this is being completely ignored by this Government.

“Laser incidents have increased 130 per cent since 2014, with 717 recorded incidents from 2014-2018 showing how crucial my Members Bill will be if we want to deter offenders.

“It’s time the Government stopped putting politics before safety and supported my Bill.”

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