Former supervisor calls on Amherst to regulate drone use

Feb 4, 2014

With talk of using drones in the not too distant future to deliver pizzas, packages and more,  former Amherst Supervisor Dan Ward says now is the time to regulate the technology.

Ward, an attorney, says while the unmanned aerial vehicles could provide benefits, they could also invade people's privacy.

Amazon recently unveiled its Amazon Prime Air program, which it hopes can soon be used to deliver packages via drone.

"Without anything further in terms of the technology and the law, these devices would be able to fly over private homes and residences and be able to photograph and tape people all without a search warrant," Ward said.

"I think that's reprehensible and should be stopped."

Ward has drawn up a proposed local law for the Amherst Town Board to consider. He says the law could provide exemptions for use by the military, during emergencies and by utility companies.

Ward says around 30 communities around the country have adopted ordinances and local laws governing the use of drones.