According to the data from the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, cited by the San Francisco Chronicle, five drones have crashed on the bridge roadway since 2014, despite a National Park Service (NPS) prohibition of the use of UAVs in the surrounding Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The drones are generally used by YouTubers and Instagram users to capture breathtaking sunsets and views of the bridge from above. Currently, Instagram, which is owned and operated by Facebook, has not taken down any bridge drone overflights, although they are expressly forbidden under federal law.
“These photos do not violate our policies”, Instagram spokeswomen Liza Crenshaw told the San Francisco Chronicle via email. “However, if we receive a valid law enforcement request, we will respond to that accordingly”.
Drone photos/videos of the Golden Gate Bridge are all over Instagram/YouTube. They were shot illegallyhttps://t.co/FXwK7K6iwa— Roland Li (@rolandlisf) February 25, 2020
Drones are banned @GoldenGateNPS and from flying over moving traffic. Five drones have crashed on the road.
(Legal helicopter photo by @tobyharriman) pic.twitter.com/E3cFBigRvI
The prohibition on using drones around the Golden Gate Bridge was consolidated in 2014 and outlined in public signs around the area a year later. The Federal Aviation Administration has also prohibited drone owners from flying UAVs over moving vehicles.According to reports, officials from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area are responding to multiple reports of illegal drone activity on a monthly basis, while officers are contacting the owners of websites publishing the illegal drone videos, warning of potential penalties.
In 2018, two drones crashed on the bridge, and although there were no injuries, this kind of incident provokes concern among transportation authorities.
“By the grace of God, it hasn’t hit a car, bicyclist or pedestrian”, said Denis Mulligan, CEO of the transportation district. “We’re not trying to stifle creativity. We’re concerned with all aspects of safety”.