Poway bans drone use during emergencies


By J. Harry Jones

— A new law approved this week in Poway bans the use of drones in the city during emergencies, when the unmanned aerial vehicles could interfere with helicopters and aircraft responding to a wildfire or other disaster.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to enact the ordinance, which prohibits launching, operating or landing drones in any part of Poway where an emergency has been declared.

Mayor Steve Vaus, who proposed the ban, said the law will help protect the city and allow public safety workers to better do their jobs.

“Poway has had a bulls eye on it back when it comes to wildfires,” said Vaus said Tuesday. “We’ve suffered terribly in the past and the thought that somebody that’s trying to get footage that they can monetize on YouTube and do that on the backs of our first responders and on the backs of community safety, to me that’s just not a tradeoff we’re ever going to make.”

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