Five Years in Prison for Shining a Laser at a Hovercraft

By Gary Cutlack on at

There's a bizarre new law about to hit the books in the UK, one that says you can go to prison for a maximum of five years should you shine a laser pen at a hovercraft. George Orwell never saw that one coming.

The rule is coming into place within the equally bonkers-sounding Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill, a piece of legislation that's had to be put into place because laser pens make good presents but some people can't be trusted to use them responsibly to play with cats. The new law expands the previous legislation's restriction on shining lasers at aeroplanes to include hovercraft, trains, buses and ships, plus the burden of proving intent to do damage has been removed, making it easier to prosecute people caught doing for just... doing it.

The cap on fines, which used to stand at £2,500, is now gone too, so five years in prison and a lifetime of bankruptcy could await anyone trying out their Christmas present on the Portsmouth hovercraft route. [GOV]

Image credit: Twitter

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