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Officials: Drones not allowed near Buford Dam

LAKE LANIER — Motorists crossing over Buford Dam between Forsyth and Gwinnett County may have noticed an electronic sign encouraging safety.

The flashing messages read: “Be safe with fire.” “Wear your seatbelt.” “No drone zone.”

That last warning began appearing recently, said Lisa Parker, a deputy public affairs officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District, which encompasses Lake Lanier.

The corps, which manages the dam, wanted to alert visitors that using a drone to get footage of the area, which is government-owned property, is illegal.

Parker said an incident last year sparked concerns about privacy. Though no harm occurred, someone was trying to get too close for comfort.

Drones may be confiscated and turned over to law enforcement, she said.

“Even with aviation, you can only fly so close to the ground,” Parker said. “Even if it’s just curiosity seekers, it’s just a matter of letting people know you can’t do that.”