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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued new rules for hobbyist drone pilots to keep the national airspace safe and available for both manned and unmanned aircraft. Hobbyist or recreational drone pilots are no longer exempt under Section 336 and are now required to follow these new FAA rules and regulations in controlled airspace.
But, what about flying drones in residential areas? This is a question that we hear frequently. The answer is: currently, no Town ordinance prevents a drone from flying over a residence.
We are regulated by federal law regarding restricting certain movement of drones because of federal airspace laws in part (FRN 49 USC44809), but Section 423 of government code Title 4 states in part:
Sec. 423.003. OFFENSE: ILLEGAL USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT TO CAPTURE IMAGE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person uses an unmanned aircraft to capture an image of an individual or privately owned real property in this state with the intent to conduct surveillance on the individual or property captured in the image.
(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
(c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the person destroyed the image:
(1) as soon as the person had knowledge that the image was captured in violation of this section; and
(2) without disclosing, displaying, or distributing the image to a third party.
(d) In this section, "intent" has the meaning assigned by Section 6.03, Penal Code.
If you have questions or concerns about a drone near your property, call the Little Elm Police Department non-emergency number at 214-975-0460.Read the new rules for drones from the FAA here.
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Go to any office of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Town ordinance # 730 requires that alarm system users obtain a permit. The permit must be obtained within 30 days of activation of the alarm. The permit must be renewed annually. Each year there is a fee of $25.
If you believe that the Little Elm Police Department has property that belongs to you, please call 214-975-0460. Once we have verified that we have your property, we will set up an appointment time to retrieve your property. A single detective purposely controls the Property and Evidence Room to ensure consistency and compliance with chain of custody requirements.
In either case, contact the police to report it. If it was stolen, an offense report will be written. Information about the stolen bike will be entered into the appropriate databases that law enforcement uses to check for such items. If it was lost, an incident report will be created, and information passed on to other shifts. In both cases, reporting it increases the odds that your bike will be located and returned to you.
Report a found bike, or any other found property, to police. A found property report will be written, and we will research our databases to see if someone reported that bicycle or other item stolen or lost. If they did, it can be returned to the rightful owner.
First, you should report it to the police so that a found property report can be generated and we can check to see if it has been reported lost or stolen. If you keep it and do not report it as found property, you may later be accused of stealing it. The bike will be taken and stored at the police department for sixty days. After that time, if no one claims it, you may contact us and request that the bike be given to you. We will consider that request, and if no other reports are found for that item, it can be given to you.
The general speed limit is determined by the State of Texas; however, local municipalities may work within these guidelines to determine the speed limit in certain areas.
Contact the Little Elm Police Department. The Police Department can deploy radar trailers and additional patrol officers to an area of concern, which has been shown to be the best method of ensuring drivers maintain speed control.
The State of Texas Transportation Code establishes a 30 mph speed limit on all residential streets.
Local entities have limited ability to change residential speed limits. In certain situations, there are opportunities to lower the speed limit to 25 mph. However, the criteria and signage requirements typically make this unfeasible.
Based on historic evidence, Town staff has found that law enforcement is the best method to ensure drivers maintain speed control. The Police Department can deploy radar trailers and additional patrol officers to an area of concern.
They have limited effectiveness, inhibit emergency vehicles' ability to respond, cause drivers to lose control and veer from the road, and cause damage to the undercarriage of vehicles. They can also increase air pollution in neighborhoods due to rapid slowing and acceleration.
· Warning signs are intended to alert drivers to unexpected or unusual conditions. The presence of children in a residential area is neither unusual nor unexpected, and so these signs provide no useful information to drivers and no clear direction as to how drivers should react.
· There is no evidence to indicate that these signs actually reduce speeds or crash rates.
· The use of unnecessary and ineffective warning signs breeds a general lack of respect for all traffic signs, potentially harming the effectiveness of critical signing.
· The signs provide children and parents with a false sense of security which can actually lead to an increased risk, as they incorrectly imply that it is safe and acceptable to play in the street.
· The use of these signs in some neighborhoods incorrectly implies that children are not present in other neighborhoods that do not have signs, and that motorists do not need to be alert for children in those areas.
· The presence of signs in some areas encourages requests for those signs in other areas. To be fair, signs would need to be posted on nearly every block of every street, making them meaningless to drivers.
· Federal and State standards do not permit the use of these non-standard signs on public roadways for the reasons described above.
· Although "Children at Play" and similar signs are not permitted, the Town does install other warning signs when appropriate to alert divers to specific locations which might have unusually high concentrations of children near or crossing the roadway, such as schools and playgrounds.