A captain of the Great North Air Ambulance is warning that lives are being put at risk by people shining laser pens into the cockpits of aircrafts.
Jay Steward says there have been four incidents in the past 14 months.
This afternoon, the House of Lords discussed a bill which could see those who target any vehicle with a laser, face up to five years in jail.
This picture shows a laser beam being shone at a police helicopter. In the darkness the flash is temporarily blinding for the pilot. And if the beam shines directly into the eyes it can cause serious damage.
The Great North Air Ambulance has been targeted by lasers four times in just over a year. In the UK there are around 1500 attacks on aircraft every year.
To tackle this problem, a new Laser Misuse Bill is under discussion to make prosecution easier and penalties harsher. It was debated in the House of Lords today.
This new offence of shining or directing a laser beam towards a vehicle wouldn't just cover helicopters but all vehicles - and those found guilty could face an unlimited fine or up to five years in prison.
The chief pilot of the Great North Air Ambulance, Jay Steward, briefs his team on the dangers of laser strikes before every take off. He was targeted only two weeks ago, while over Peterlee, and welcomes the new bill.
These views are echoed by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, which says it is "concerned about the high number of laser attacks in recent years and therefore welcomes new measures that would see tougher penalties for those who act recklessly by endangering the safety of aircraft."
The danger was very real when the Air Ambulance was targeted as it came into land at a hospital, less than 100 feet from the ground, when it was too late for the pilot to alter course.
There were five people on board, and all lives were in danger.
The new legislation which would carry a possible a five year jail sentence will hopefully act as a deterrent to those tempted to misuse laser pens.