If you look at the list of rules for drone operators, it seems like the hobby is getting harder and harder to enjoy. Registration requirements, ID broadcasting, bans on flying over buildings of any kind, bans on flying over national forests/parks, professional licensing requirements, etc. But in practice, how common is it for people to actually follow all these rules for casual drone operations? Are there any surveys available that measure the compliance rate?
As with any new technology, at first things are quite chaotic. Take my country for example, a few years ago, the regulating agency of flight introduced a scheduled drone flying program. This meant you had to make an appointment in advance with 60 days (!!!) and specify where and for how long you were flying. Also it was necessary to have your vehicle registered which at the time was a terrible process. Of course, people would still fly their vehicles and eventually this implementation has been removed and now people can fly freely.
Latest generation drones have a no-fly zone in their memory, so whenever you try to go in those areas they won't go. Flying over buildings in cities is quite challenging due to various factors I won't go into. Flying over forests while inside forests is also challenging. If you build a custom drone using a different transmission channel you can theoretically fly over building, forests and so on without any technical issues.
These rules are made for the future. As the technology will become more available for the general public, there needs to be an controlled environment so that anyone can fly their vehicle safely. Take aerial transportation for example: they have very specific routes and timeslots when each plane can fly. They most likely said the same thing as you about planes back in the 40's or 50's.
Also certain bans are against people that cannot breathe and think at the same time and would cause serious damage to their surroundings. This why I support the idea of pilot testing and registration. Pilots and decision-making people are expected to know what they are doing.
People in my country still fly these vehicles without any permits or registrations, but also the governing body doesn't care and the city police is clueless about required paperwork when flying a UAV.
Yes...people in the city I live in fly drones in the city...and post it on our favorite social platform...and I know some of them, and no, they don't have registration or permits...they also don't care...