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Australia: Lasers banned at football game; jail possible

Football [soccer] fans caught shining laser lights into players' faces during matches will be booted out of grounds.

The league has vowed to work with police and venues to crack down on the problem following at least two incidents in Friday night's Richmond-Collingwood clash.

"The AFL will work with police and our venues to ban anyone caught using laser lights to distract players during the course of a match," said league operations manager Adrian Anderson.

"It's unacceptable for players in a contact sport having something shine in their eyes while playing the game.

A sharp jump in the number of lasers aimed into aircraft cockpits has sparked new laws to allow offenders to be jailed.
The draft laws will be put before the Senate today. The legislation comes as Transport Minister Mark Vaile reported there had been 170 laser incidents in 2007 and the dangerous practice was happening more often.
Since 2006, there have been more than 170 reports of laser lights being directed at aircraft and the number of incidents reported is increasing with 49 being reported from April to June this year.

Earlier this month a Qantas flight approaching Darwin Airport was targeted by a high power laser in the latest of a string of potentially fatal incidents.

"This is very irresponsible and has the potential to jeopardise the safety of aircraft passengers," Mr Vaile told AAP through a spokeswoman.

"To ensure that appropriate offences exist to deal with people who interfere with aircraft, the government currently has legislation before the Senate that makes it an offence to threaten the safety of an aircraft from off the aircraft."

The penalties will include a possible two years in jail and/or a $5,500 fine.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson said there appeared to be no pattern to two laser incidents at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport last week.

"One was on Friday quite close to the airport ... and the other one was out near Liverpool," Mr Gibson said.

"It certainly wasn't the same person."

"Whatever it is we're really just trying to plead to them 'Don't do it' and see the commonsense of the situation.

"You could hurt a pilot."

From the Melbourne Herald Sun