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Russia: "Dragging its feet" on laser incidents

Russian news agency RIA Novosti says the country is “dragging its feet” on anti-laser glasses and on proposed laws to protect pilots against 30 laser incidents thus far this year (up from 5 in 2010).
The article notes that at least two companies in the West produce laser eye protection specifically for pilots. Russian scientists recently developed narrow-band glasses that eliminate 99 percent of laser light. Talks between Rosaviatsia (Federal Air Transport Agency) and a Russian eyewear producer are “going in circles.”

Rosaviatsia also submitted a bill to parliament, making it a criminal offense to aim laser pens at pilots. So far there is no date set for consideration.

A psychiatrist said there are three categories of laser hooligans:
  • “Young jokers” who do not realize the hazards
  • “Nut-jobs” who want to cause harm, and who act alone
  • “Extremists” who want to bring about change via terrorism.
RIA Novosti says that the “overwhelming majority” of hooligans have not been caught. One 17-year-old caught in Chechnya was told he would be punished if a similar incident occurs again.

Finally, RIA Novosti said that the U.S. has worked on laser attacks for 20 years: “Methods of tackling the problem are well-developed and work well there.”

From RIA Novosti