In a post on his blog on the Department of Transportation’s website, LaHood expounded on the problem further.
“Look, quite simply, pointing a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft threatens lives,” he wrote. “As FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said, ‘As a former commercial airline pilot, I can tell you that shining a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft is a serious safety risk. Lasers can distract or temporarily blind pilots who are trying to fly safely to their destinations and could compromise the safety of hundreds of passengers.’”
LaHood said there have been 2,795 reports of lasers being pointed at airplanes this year, and he said both the FAA and police takes this “seriously.”
“Portable laser pointing devices are less expensive, more powerful and more readily available than ever,” he wrote. “And people seem unable to resist the very dangerous temptation to shine them at aircraft.”
But he quickly said that resisting is exactly what they should do.
“Safety is our absolute number one priority, and we will do everything we can to get the word out about how dangerous it is to point a laser at an aircraft,” he wrote. “These incidents must stop.”