Bill Text: TX SB840 | 2017-2018 | 85th Legislature | Enrolled


Bill Title: Relating to certain images captured by an unmanned aircraft.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 7-0)

Status: (Passed) 2017-06-09 - Effective on 9/1/17 [SB840 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-SB840-Enrolled.html
 
 
  S.B. No. 840
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to certain images captured by an unmanned aircraft.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 423.002(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  It is lawful to capture an image using an unmanned
  aircraft in this state:
               (1)  for the purpose of professional or scholarly
  research and development or for another academic purpose by a
  person acting on behalf of an institution of higher education or a
  private or independent institution of higher education, as those
  terms are defined by Section 61.003, Education Code, including a
  person who:
                     (A)  is a professor, employee, or student of the
  institution; or
                     (B)  is under contract with or otherwise acting
  under the direction or on behalf of the institution;
               (2)  in airspace designated as a test site or range
  authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration for the purpose
  of integrating unmanned aircraft systems into the national
  airspace;
               (3)  as part of an operation, exercise, or mission of
  any branch of the United States military;
               (4)  if the image is captured by a satellite for the
  purposes of mapping;
               (5)  if the image is captured by or for an electric or
  natural gas utility or a telecommunications provider:
                     (A)  for operations and maintenance of utility or
  telecommunications facilities for the purpose of maintaining
  utility or telecommunications system reliability and integrity;
                     (B)  for inspecting utility or telecommunications
  facilities to determine repair, maintenance, or replacement needs
  during and after construction of such facilities;
                     (C)  for assessing vegetation growth for the
  purpose of maintaining clearances on utility or telecommunications
  easements; and
                     (D)  for utility or telecommunications facility
  routing and siting for the purpose of providing utility or
  telecommunications service;
               (6)  with the consent of the individual who owns or
  lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image;
               (7)  pursuant to a valid search or arrest warrant;
               (8)  if the image is captured by a law enforcement
  authority or a person who is under contract with or otherwise acting
  under the direction or on behalf of a law enforcement authority:
                     (A)  in immediate pursuit of a person law
  enforcement officers have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to
  suspect has committed an offense, not including misdemeanors or
  offenses punishable by a fine only;
                     (B)  for the purpose of documenting a crime scene
  where an offense, not including misdemeanors or offenses punishable
  by a fine only, has been committed;
                     (C)  for the purpose of investigating the scene
  of:
                           (i)  a human fatality;
                           (ii)  a motor vehicle accident causing death
  or serious bodily injury to a person; or
                           (iii)  any motor vehicle accident on a state
  highway or federal interstate or highway;
                     (D)  in connection with the search for a missing
  person;
                     (E)  for the purpose of conducting a high-risk
  tactical operation that poses a threat to human life; [or]
                     (F)  of private property that is generally open to
  the public where the property owner consents to law enforcement
  public safety responsibilities; or
                     (G)  of real property or a person on real property
  that is within 25 miles of the United States border for the sole
  purpose of ensuring border security;
               (9)  if the image is captured by state or local law
  enforcement authorities, or a person who is under contract with or
  otherwise acting under the direction or on behalf of state
  authorities, for the purpose of:
                     (A)  surveying the scene of a catastrophe or other
  damage to determine whether a state of emergency should be
  declared;
                     (B)  preserving public safety, protecting
  property, or surveying damage or contamination during a lawfully
  declared state of emergency; or
                     (C)  conducting routine air quality sampling and
  monitoring, as provided by state or local law;
               (10)  at the scene of a spill, or a suspected spill, of
  hazardous materials;
               (11)  for the purpose of fire suppression;
               (12)  for the purpose of rescuing a person whose life or
  well-being is in imminent danger;
               (13)  if the image is captured by a Texas licensed real
  estate broker in connection with the marketing, sale, or financing
  of real property, provided that no individual is identifiable in
  the image;
               (14)  [of real property or a person on real property
  that is within 25 miles of the United States border;
               [(15)]  from a height no more than eight feet above
  ground level in a public place, if the image was captured without
  using any electronic, mechanical, or other means to amplify the
  image beyond normal human perception;
               (15) [(16)]  of public real property or a person on
  that property;
               (16) [(17)]  if the image is captured by the owner or
  operator of an oil, gas, water, or other pipeline for the purpose of
  inspecting, maintaining, or repairing pipelines or other related
  facilities, and is captured without the intent to conduct
  surveillance on an individual or real property located in this
  state;
               (17) [(18)]  in connection with oil pipeline safety and
  rig protection;
               (18) [(19)]  in connection with port authority
  surveillance and security;
               (19) [(20)]  if the image is captured by a registered
  professional land surveyor in connection with the practice of
  professional surveying, as those terms are defined by Section
  1071.002, Occupations Code, provided that no individual is
  identifiable in the image; [or]
               (20) [(21)]  if the image is captured by a professional
  engineer licensed under Subchapter G, Chapter 1001, Occupations
  Code, in connection with the practice of engineering, as defined by
  Section 1001.003, Occupations Code, provided that no individual is
  identifiable in the image; or
               (21)  if:
                     (A)  the image is captured by an employee of an
  insurance company or of an affiliate of the company in connection
  with the underwriting of an insurance policy, or the rating or
  adjusting of an insurance claim, regarding real property or a
  structure on real property; and
                     (B)  the operator of the unmanned aircraft is
  authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct
  operations within the airspace from which the image is captured.
         SECTION 2.  The change in law made by this Act applies only
  to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act.
  An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is
  governed by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed,
  and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For
  purposes of this section, an offense was committed before the
  effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurred
  before that date.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 840 passed the Senate on
  April 18, 2017, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendments on May 25, 2017, by the
  following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 840 passed the House, with
  amendments, on May 23, 2017, by the following vote: Yeas 142,
  Nays 5, one present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor
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