FBI Targets Those Who Point Lasers at Planes [AUDIO]
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is making a new push to stop Garden State residents from shining lasers at aircraft.
Beginning Tuesday, a new FBI Public Service Announcement on the dangers of laser pointing is being released across the country.
"It presents a danger to pilots and passengers and those on the ground when individuals point a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft," FBI Special Agent Barbara Woodruff said.
She stressed when a laser is beamed into the front of a plane where the pilots are located "it can cause temporary blindness, and they may have to make an emergency landing or go off course. We're really, really trying to get the message across before anything terrible does happen."
Besides releasing the announcement, the FBI is also offering a significant reward for anyone who reports laser user.
"We're offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who has information about individuals shining the lasers, playing with the lasers, pointing them at aircraft," Woodruff said.
Woodruff said the number of laser strike complaints is up 14 percent this year compared to last year. While only 26 incidents confirmed incidents have been reported in New Jersey, she said the FBI believes there are literally thousands of laser strikes taking place every year that have not been reported.
She also that during the past eight years "the deliberately targeting of aircraft by hand-held lasers increased by 1,100 percent."