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Thread: Legal situation?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    85

    Default Legal situation?

    I've just been visited by police who asked me to switch off my 250mW greeny 'as it's shining in someone's front room window'. I showed the officer that the beam was fixed and aimed above roof level but below aeroplane level and no way was it going in anyones windows. I said that I couldn't see that I was doing anything illegal by putting up my Xmas lights

    He was quite good about it, said the beam was 'really cool' and has gone away to look up the law. In the meanwhile I have left the beams on!

    Is there anything illegal that I am doing?

    I was half expecting someone to complain even though everyone is telling me how good it looks. It probably is just some Moaning Minny with nothing better to do but I'd like to be armed with law if possible in case they come back.

    They did mention 'anti social' but that didn't get off the ground.

    PS I am in the UK.

    Thanks for any help.
    A lovely childhood. Just me my mother and the voices.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    North West England
    Posts
    1,148

    Default

    From what I can tell the only regs are the HS(G)95 regs.
    If your beam is higher than 3m and you are more than 10 miles (I think) from the nearest airport then you should be OK.
    You should read the guidelines though.

    Karl may know a little more.

    Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    85

    Default

    Thanks for reply, I just checked and H+S only seems to cover commerical venues.

    One slight possible problem is that I am in a military flying area but obviously the beam is below their level.

    Oh well. Have to wait and see. I have emailed our local councillor to see if he knows anything.
    A lovely childhood. Just me my mother and the voices.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Leicestershire, UK
    Posts
    137

    Default

    You should probably get CAA clearence to use it outdoors (in writing). That might give you something in your favor. I don't think you'd need planning permission as its obviously only a temporary thing.

    -Matt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    85

    Default

    Thanks Lampy. Where do I apply for that?
    A lovely childhood. Just me my mother and the voices.

  6. #6

    Default

    I answered this in alt.lasers too. Turn it off immediately.


    What you do later depends on what you learn, but for now, the last thing you should risk is looking irresponsible. That's a very dangerous beam. The fact that you have fixed the laser in place means nothing, the fact that a neighbour sees a bright beam, and has no certainty or control over the risk it might have for them counts for everything. They're not willing visitors to a show that is following guidelines laid out for that, so there is no claim to a similar situation. Also, comparing a 250 mW laser beam to a christmas light is so wrong that it will make you look bad, one way or another. That claim alone, if were taken down and used in evidence against you, could help secure some kind of conviction if charges were pressed. The sooner you act safely and don't assume it's already safe (it isn't, it really is NOT, that's why such lasers are class 3B and not 3R) the sooner people will be able and willing to trust you to be careful with it. The best signal you can send is to shut it down immediately while the current question is asked and answered.

  7. #7

    Default

    I just typed CAA in google and got this:
    http://www.caa.co.uk/

    Then typed laser in the CAA search engine and got this:
    http://search2.openobjects.com/kbrok...&mt=1&qt=laser

    3rd artical down is this:
    Guide for the Operation of Lasers, Searchlights and Fireworks in United Kingdom

    Hope that helps

    XG

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    85

    Default

    Thanks Geek, I have contacted the CAA to see what they say. I notice that it is all 'guides' and no law.

    Obviously I take running a laser very seriously and have covered all risks that I can foresee but you will always get one person wanting to make a fuss about something. If there is nothing illegal that I am doing or even if there is anything illegal that I am doing I would like to know.
    A lovely childhood. Just me my mother and the voices.

  9. #9

    Default

    Careful. It's a difficult situation, there are laws, and the guides just make it harder to know what's a strict law. Turn it off, don't make any assumptions. And check alt.lasers. Steve Roberts posted about a guy that you should phone up. Making that call will undo any harm tonights actions might do. Show Steve's advice to that copper when he returns, and you should be ok. If they really have reason to think you're taking all possible care to correct any risk, they won't be inclined to push you around. But if you don't, as Steve says, there are agencies that really can push you around over this kind of use of a laser. Don't wait for them to come knocking. Act first.

  10. #10

    Default

    are you scanning/hitting your windows and possibly causing a reflection?

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