Home People Shining a laser pen at a train driver could land you in...

Shining a laser pen at a train driver could land you in jail under new laws

Those who use laser devices to target train drivers could be jailed for up to five years under new legislation unveiled by the Department for Transport.

The Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill, published today, expands the list of vehicle operators – beyond just planes – of which it is an offence to target with lasers.

Laser pens have become a growing concern with their beams capable of impacting a driver’s ability to control their vehicles.

The bill removes the current fine limit of £2,500 and also makes it easier to prosecute offenders by removing the need to prove an intention to endanger a vehicle.

Looking for a new job in the UK rail industry? Click here to begin your journey

Commander Simon Bray is the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for lasers. He said: “Recklessly shining a laser at an aircraft or another moving vehicle is deeply irresponsible and dangerous.

“By causing a distraction or, in some cases, short or long-term eye damage, laser attacks can lead to catastrophic incidents.

“These new and robust measures send a clear message to perpetrators: laser attacks are a crime and serious consequences will follow from committing this offence.”

Last year, the Civil Aviation Authority received reports of 1,258 laser incidents, with Heathrow the most frequent location for reports of the devices being used recklessly.

Earlier this year, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy ran a call for evidence on the selling of laser pointers and is considering the findings before formally responding in 2018.

The Department for Transport has released a brief video explaining the new legislation: 


Read more: First-ever second generation EMU painted in original British Rail colours



Pedestrian saved by dog on railway crossing

Only the actions of his dog saved a pedestrian, who was wearing headphones when using a footpath level crossing in East Yorkshire,...

Rail companies work with police to promote use of face coverings

The British Transport Police is working with four train companies, Great Northern, Southeastern, Southern and Thameslink, as part of a new pilot...

Planning consent sought for new Perry Barr railway station

Transport for the West Midlands has unveiled new designs for Perry Barr railway station as plans for the redevelopment have been submitted...

Barnham railway depot celebrates 25 years

The Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) depot at Barnham is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Formed in 1995 with...

World’s first solar and hydrogen powered cabins trialled by HS2

HS2 has trialled solar and hydrogen-powered welfare cabins across its work locations run by enabling and main works civils joint ventures CSjv...