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Call for stricter regulations on paparazzi

February 1, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Britney Spears' most recent hospitalization is prompting a push to reign in the paparazzi. An L.A. City Councilman is proposing a new ordinance designed to crack down on the shutterbugs' aggressive tactics.The LAPD's massive motorcade escorting Britney Spears to the hospital early Thursday morning is drawing fire. Many are questioning the extensive use of police resources, from helicopters to motorcycle officers and patrol cars. According to the L.A. Times, the ordeal cost nearly $25,000.

Though the LAPD won't talk specifics about the situation, officials say the decision was a matter of safety for Spears, the public, and the paparazzi.

"In this case you've got paparazzi that get up there and they'll get in front of the ambulance to try and get a shot," said Deputy Chief Jim McDonald, LAPD. "They're a hazard basically. And what we're trying to do is keep them out of the way enough so that the ambulance can get through and have safe passage to the hospital."

The chaos that surrounds celebrities when they are targeted by the paparazzi is what has prompted Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine to introduce a motion calling for stricter regulations for the paparazzi.

He's asking for tougher enforce of traffic laws, like reckless driving, and creating a personal safety zone between the paparazzi and the stars, whether they're on foot or in the car. Zine says the situation with the paparazzi has gotten out of control.

"If they want to take pictures, they can take all the pictures they want but it's got to be done in a responsible fashion, where you're not endangering life and property," said Councilman Zine. "And then to extend it, where the Police Department has to spend a squad of motorist to escort an ambulance. That really goes over the top."

On Friday, Zine said he feels that Britney Spears should repay the city for the expense of getting her to the hospital. As for his city proposal, if it meets constitutionality and is approved, it could be in place as early as July.

 

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