Users must be trained, registered

We have seen a proliferation of drones in Singapore in recent years.

Right now, acquiring a drone online is easy and is just a few clicks away. There is no training or registration required.

This can be dangerous as a wayward drone or an error due to poor skill in controlling it, batteries dying or mechanical failure can potentially cause injury to people and property.

Drones can weigh anything from a few hundred grams to tens of kilograms. Imagine what would happen if a 10kg drone fell from a height of 30m into a crowd.

Drones can also carry cameras that can invade people's privacy, and even carry explosives. These have significant impact on our lives.

We have no way to trace the user or find out his intent if disaster strikes.

As a society that embraces technology, we certainly do not want to limit the use of drones.

However, accountability is imperative.

Hence, we need to conduct basic training and register users, as well as examine the types of drones brought in. Let's not wait till a disaster strikes and lives are lost before we act on this.

Peter Loon Seng Chee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2016, with the headline 'Users must be trained, registered'. Print Edition | Subscribe