Coddington, Hicks & Danforth

Going to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area? Leave your drone at home.

If you own a drone, you would probably enjoy taking it to some of California's most scenic areas in order to get one-of-a-kind pictures. If you want to go to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, however, you ought to leave your drone at home. Otherwise, you could find yourself in some trouble.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area covers around 80,000 acres of beautiful California landscape that includes the Marin Headlands, Muir Woods, The Presidio and Alcatraz -- and numerous points between and around those locations. That leaves a lot of area where the National Park Service began prohibiting the use of drones starting in 2014. This includes the Golden Gate Bridge.

Drones may be fun to use and handy in a lot of instances, but they can also be dangerous if improperly operated. The National Park Service is not only concerned about drones irritating and otherwise affecting visitors, but wildlife as well. Bird-drone collisions are not unheard of, and some birds will actually attack drones. As for the effects of drone use on humans, they could potentially cause pedestrian, motor vehicle and bicycle accidents.

So what happens if you get caught with a drone in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area? You will most likely face a hefty monetary fine and your drone could be confiscated. In addition, depending on the circumstances, you could face other civil, and even criminal, penalties. If you find yourself inadvertently violating the rules regarding drones in the parks, you may benefit from discussing your situation with an attorney who can help you find the best resolution possible to your issues.

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