Weather forecasters could go to jail for incorrect predictions in South Africa
January 12, 2012
The African National Congress is currently trying to pass a new amendment to the Weather Service Bill that would make false weather prediction a criminal act. The Telegraph reports that the proposed change to the law will apply to independent forecasters who incorrectly announce severe weather warnings. They could face fines as high as £800,000 or up to 10 years in prison.
The idea behind the proposed law is that this will prevent people from panicking and upsetting the economy every time there is flooding or other severe weather, according to the source.
"The bill, if passed in its current form, will have various undesirable consequences, and will make South Africans less safe," Democratic Alliance spokesman Gareth Morgan explained to the news publication. "There is no reason to believe that the Weather Service, with its limited ability to measure and observe weather changes all around South Africa in real time, can respond quickly to all severe weather events, offering affected people sufficient warning."