A comprehensive resource for safe and responsible laser use

How to reduce incidents: For laser pointer users

As of December 2011, there are roughly ten incidents every night in the U.S. where pilots report being hit by laser light. It is very easy for laser pointer users to stop these aviation incidents: Simply do not aim lasers at or near an airplane.

Don’t point at aircraft

This is a simple rule. NEVER aim a laser beam towards an airplane or helicopter. Other pages at this website have much more information about why this is bad for pilots, bad for you (you could get arrested, fined or jailed) and bad for laser pointers (it could lead to a ban).

Similarly, you should NEVER aim towards vehicles such as cars or trucks on the road. Just as with airplanes, the driver may be distracted or flashblinded.

Don’t annoy people

In addition, don’t annoy people with a laser beam. For example, don’t flash it around at a movie theater, in a concert, or at a sporting event. If people are annoyed, they are more likely to support a laser ban.

Tell your friends and associates

Friends don’t let friends misuse laser pointers. If you are on web forums, speak up if someone posts a message about misuse. Consider adding LaserPointerSafety.com to your sig.

Circle stars, don’t point right at them

Because some aircraft can look like stars when they are far away, don’t aim directly at a “star”. It is better to circle around it instead of leaving the beam on it. Don’t leave the pointer on for longer than is necessary to point out the star.

Don’t buy a laser pointer more powerful than you need for outdoor use

While it can be fun to have a high-powered handheld laser, you also have to be more careful about its beam. Consider buying a second, less-powerful pointer for “everyday” use, something in the 5 mW range which is the U.S. legal limit to be sold for pointing applications.