The Government has announced that it is to launch a review into the sale and usage of laser pointers, following a series of public safety concerns. The review is calling for evidence to be submitted before Friday 6 October, with the Government expected to report back with proposals in the new year.
A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:
“The move comes in response to an increase in laser incidents in recent years. A survey of UK ophthalmologists reported over 150 incidents of eye injuries involving laser pointers since 2013, the vast majority of these involving children. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has reported an increase in incidents of laser pointers being directed into the cockpits of helicopters and planes on take-off and landing. Last year an Air Ambulance helicopter pilot was rendered temporarily blind by a laser attack that could have had catastrophic consequences”.
Margot James, the Business Minister, said:
“Public safety is of the utmost importance and we must look carefully to make sure regulations are keeping up with the increased use of these devices. Whilst we know most users don’t intend any harm, many are not aware of the safety risks and serious health implications of shining laser pointers directly into people’s eyes. Used irresponsibly or maliciously, these products can and do wreak havoc and harm others, with potentially catastrophic consequences.
That’s why we want to hear from business groups, retailers and consumers about the best way to protect the public from this kind of dangerous behaviour and improve safety”.