Re: The Forgotten Issue
"Plus, how are you going to identify people who DON'T register their drone?"
What is does help is those that are flying drones commercially for estate agents and to inspect structures. In the US the fine to somebody hiring an unlicensed operator is 10x hirer than what the operator will be fined. I think the idea there is to discourage people hiring unlicensed operators to save a few quid. If an operator is found to have been operating recklessly, they can have their license suspended or revoked and if they can't find well paying work with people that don't check, they will value their license more. Although, some may have to lose their license at least once to get the message.
The probability is pretty low that somebody hiring an unlicensed operator or the operator are going to get caught if there isn't a problem. It could happen if a neighbor gets concerned and calls the police or the drone winds up in power lines and the power company is called out to get it down. That's when it's over. A PC that knows that a drone should have a registration number might just start asking more questions and the power company won't be pleased with the expense of sending a crew around. A kid's stray balloon or kite is one thing, but presented with an unregistered drone that they expect was being operated commercially might have the supervisor looking to find somebody to bill for the work.
I'd like to offer drone photography, but the estate agents in my area don't care about hiring licensed pilots and that doesn't work for me. I have a home and worked hard to buy nice things so a whopping fine is a problem if I would be caught. My business insurance specifically doesn't cover operating a drone and wouldn't even with a supplement if I wasn't licensed.