The green laser pointing driver was cited for brandishing a weapon and will appear in court.
According to KTLA, a driver in San Bernardino was cited earlier this weekend after causing his own collision as a result of pointing a laser pointer into the eyes of another driver he just overtook.Embed from Getty Images
San Bernardino County Sherrif’s department ID’d the green laser pointing driver as 46-year-old Scott Socea of Lancaster.
As KTLA’s report describes, Socea was driving on Highway 138 near Phelan around midnight when he came upon another driver he deemed was too slow for his liking.
If you take a look at what Highway 138 near Phelan looks like (Google Maps url link here) it’s a lonely stretch of road that’s only two lanes wide and was presumably traffic-free at midnight, especially on the weekend.
After overtaking the woman’s car, he quickly changed lane in front of her and gave her a brake check.
This caused the woman to high-beam Socea and, in response, Socea whipped out a green laser pointer and purposely pointed the laser-emitting green light into the woman’s eyeballs.
The woman, temporarily blinded, slammed into the rear of Socea’s car.
FOX LA reports that Socea’s laser pointer was taken away as evidence with Socea cited for brandishing a weapon, a charge he’ll later have to address in San Bernardino County court.
According to Shouse California Law group, what Socea did is probably a violation of PC 417.25.
417.25 (a) states that.
“Every person who, except in self-defense, aims or points a laser scope… at another person in a threatening manner with the specific intent to cause a reasonable person fear of bodily harm is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 30 days.“
Regardless of the how low a punishment pointing a laser pointer at a person merits, blinding someone with a laser pointer is not to be taken lightly.
In 2015, a Fresno County Judge re-sentenced a man to five years in prison after shining a laser pointer into the cockpit of a Fresno Police helicopter.
In 1998, CHP arrested a 34-year-old driver after reports came in they saw a car and driver weaving in and out of traffic at 100 MPH, the driver purposely shining a laser pointer into other cars. His laser-pointing mischief actually caused a five-car wreck that day killing four teenagers with ages between 15-19.
There really isn’t a good reason for anyone to use a laser pointer anytime while driving.