Those shining laser pens at planes or any mode of transport could face a jail sentence and hefty fines under strict new government crackdowns.

Laser pen activity at a plane, train, car, bus or taxi will be made illegal, in what Transport Secretary Mr Grayling calls a "common sense approach" to "dangerous behaviour".

It is currently an offence to shine lasers at pilots, with those responsible facing fines of up to £2,500 - but it must be proved the person had endangered the aircraft.

Mr Grayling said: "Whilst we know laser pens can be fun and many users have good intentions, some are not aware of the risks of dazzling drivers or pilots putting public safety at risk.

"That's why we want to take the common sense approach to strengthen our laws to protect the public from those who are unaware of the dangers or even worse, intentionally want to cause harm.

"This kind of dangerous behaviour risks lives and must be stopped."

Last year Heathrow Airport saw a worrying rise in the number of laser pen attacks , putting the safety of passengers and cabin crew at risk by obscuring the pilots vision.

Dr Steve Schallhorn, who is chief medical director at Optical Express and a former US Navy pilot, said there needed to be more education about the irreversible eye injuries that can be caused by laser pens.

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Worrying laser attacks on the rise, with Heathrow top target

Laser attacks on flights at Heathrow are on the rise, with the latest stats from Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Data showing incidents more than doubled since the previous three-month period.

Heathrow Airport suffered 14 attacks between April and June 2015, which rose to 35 in the year's third quarter, from July to September - the most recent figures available.

Heathrow Airport laser attacks on rise as report reveals sky high numbers

A spate of incidents saw Heathrow suffer two attacks within 10 days in February 2016.

A Virgin Atlantic flight heading for New York had to double back on itself as a "precautionary measure" due to the co-pilot feeling unwell, after a laser attack on February 14.

Eight days later, another laser was shone at a British Airways flight on Monday (February 22) evening, but it did not endanger the aircraft, with the plane landing succesfully.

CAA's latest report also showed that Heathrow Airport suffered more laser attacks than any other UK airport, up to September 2015.

A Heathrow Airport spokesperson has previously told getwestlondon the airport "have a very robust security regime in place" and "are always responsive and vigilant when it comes to new threats."

They added: "As part of that regime, we don’t comment on the specific measures we have in place, but will continue to work with partners to ensure that UK airspace remains safe."

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