People are still getting in trouble for flying drones near the White House

Phantom drone
Keep your drone safe from harm.

If you've treated yourself to a shiny new drone recently, please don't fly it in areas where law enforcement agencies are likely to get jumpy at the sight of an unidentified aircraft.

An American man has just received a criminal citation for buzzing a drone around the Washington Monument and crash-landing it on the Ellipse, the busy public park just over the road from the President's house.

The pilot wasn't arrested but did have his drone confiscated. Authorities say it's the ninth time an unmanned aircraft has been flown in a national park in the Washington area in 2015.

Leave your drone at home

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already declared Washington, DC a "no-drone zone" and there are similar restrictions in place around other national parks and airports.

In the UK, the guidelines from the Civil Aviation Authority state that pilots should keep their drones in sight at all times and not exceed a height of 400 feet (about 30 metres). There are other restrictions covering the use of drones with cameras fitted to them.

With progress in drone technology accelerating at a rapid rate, the authorities are scrambling to get fair legislation in place to dictate how they can and can't be used. In the meantime, steer clear of places with a heightened level of security - like the White House.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.