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Frustrations are building in pilots as laser incidents continue to occur on average twice a month, Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says.

“The continued incidents prove the current law is not strong enough,” Mr Walker says.

“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.”

Mr Walker’s High-Power Laser Pointer Offences and Penalties Bill proposes to double the maximum fine to $4000 and double the term of imprisonment from three to six months.

The bill will also make it an offence to have a high-power laser in possession in both public and private places.

“Pilots have been calling out for harsher penalties but this soft on crime Government seems more content at putting lives at risk than supporting my member’s bill.”

“Laser incidents have increased 130% since 2014, with 717 recorded incidents from 2014-2018 example of how crucial my member’s bill will be if we want to deter offenders.”

“While other countries have made drastic changes to laws in this space, this Government has already said it will not back my bill, despite the outcry from pilots.”

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

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