Saying that the technology has not yet been sufficiently tested, the Hamptons Police Department called for an immediate halt to the deployment of leaf blower drones this week.
Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch says the ban would be in effect until protocols are developed for dealing with malfunctions.
“It’s all well and good that you can have a bunch of leaf blowers working on your lawn being operated remotely from a bunker out in Coram somewhere, but what happens if the operator loses control of them. Then you’ve got a situation where we have rogue leaf blowers flying all over the place, and who’s responsible for handling that mess? That would be the police.”
Hirsch warned that severe penalties would be brought against anyone caught with a remote-control leaf blower or remote-control leaf blower paraphernalia.
Local Hamptons lawmakers say the regulations and protocols they’re tasked with creating are problematic for a variety of reasons, including leaf blower noise issues and the many dangers of unmanned blowers. “There’s just so many ways these things could go wrong,” Hamptons Town Board Chairman P. F. Tennyson Emberly explains. “Heck, we had one citizen literally vanish for months due to leaf blower mistakes and misuse—now imagine what could happen without a human being physically connected to such a device,” Emberly says. “The consequences are myriad and serious.”
Meanwhile, remote leaf blower manufacturers, such as Autumn Wind and Extreme AirX have send representatives to monitor the situation locally. One such representative, who chose to remain anonymous, says litigation is not out of the question, and an array of lawsuits are being drawn up in anticipation of a complete ban. “The brotherhood of remote leaf blower manufacturers is not to be trifled with,” he says, “Our influence is vast, our coffers are deep and our proclivity toward mercy is just about nil.”