Green lasers a nuisance for FAA and hotels
Fri, 12 Aug 2011 04:02:13 GMT —
It's a light show, but not many people are enjoying it.
The laser pointers popular several years ago are making a comeback along the Grand Strand this tourist season.
These lasers are green and can shoot almost four miles.
With their kids grown, Kurt and Jennifer Radney came to Myrtle Beach to enjoy spending time with one another. But while they walked the beach Thursday night, they say their time was ruined.
"We're like walking along the beach, next thing you know, it's up in our eyes, following everybody, lasering everything," says Jennifer.
"Try to be a little romantic, walk," says Kurt. "But then I see someone pointing a laser at my wife."
While Kurt and Jennifer plans were zapped by lasers, they're not the only one's complaining.
Amie Sparks is a night time desk clerk at Dayton House Resort on Ocean Boulevard. She says even though no one is pointing the lasers at her, they still give her a headache with 10 to 15 complaints a night from her hotel's guests.
"It's all the hotels around here. They're shining them from the hotels next door. It's just everywhere," says Sparks. "It's ridiculous."
Some beams shoot across hotel balconies, but others shoot into the air.
The Federal Aviation Administration says in 2009, they had 1,527 reports of lasers shined in cockpits. In 2010, it was 2,836 and, already in 2011 more than 1,700.
There have been 10 reports in Myrtle Beach so far this year and 4 this week alone. One hit an airplane that was 10,000 feet in the air and another plane that was on its approach.
The FAA says anyone thinking about shooting a laser into a cockpit should think twice. In June this year, the FAA announced they will start to impose civil penalties of $11,000 for pointing lasers into cockpits.
Optometrist Dr. Fouad Allouch says the green lasers cause more damage than their red counterparts, and in some cases, cause flash blindness.
"They're a little bit more intense. The wave length of light is a little different of the red light versus the green light, and so the green light can cause a little more damage, again with long term exposure," says Allouch. "The big concern is if someone is operating a vehicle or an airplane for example, and somebody shines that light, that can lead to temporary blindness, and someone could lose control of the vehicle. That's a big fear."
The Radneys want to know if the lasers are that much trouble, why they're still allowed.
"My opinion is I think they should ban them," says Jennifer.