Scotland Yard will use a DRONE to help catch speeding drivers
Scotland Yard will use a DRONE to help catch speeding and dangerous drivers from next month becoming first police force to use flying gadget in this way
- Met will use drones to help catch dangerous, careless and speeding drivers
- Technology will be used on London’s busiest and most dangerous routes
- Scotland Yard says it’ll be for reckless motorists – not those just over speed limit
Police are to use a drone to catch speeding motorists for the first time this month – but the Met insists it will only target the most dangerous drivers.
Scotland Yard is trialling the use of the technology to help catch dangerous, careless and speeding drivers in a landmark initiative which is the first of its kind in the UK.
The device will be used as an eye in the sky to alert officers on the ground to reckless drivers on some of London’s busiest roads.
The drone, which also has night vision capability, will be used on main roads such as the A10 in Enfield where eight people have been killed in the past two years – many in speeding-related accidents.
Officers stress that the drone will be focused on capturing dangerous drivers who are putting lives at risk rather than targeting those who are travelling a few miles per hour over the limit.
Police say drones can be deployed at high altitudes so they are not detected, or closer to the ground so they are visible to motorists and act as a deterrent.
Scotland Yard will use drones to monitor drivers on London’s busiest and most dangerous roads starting this month
Although the drone itself is not equipped with a speed gun or radar to measure how fast a vehicle is going, the footage it captures will inform road traffic officers on motorways and major routes who can analyse whether they need to intercept the motorist.
But news that ordinary drivers will be monitored from the skies by a roving drone is likely to concern some motoring groups.
Initially the drone is being deployed on the major routes coming into London for a week of enforcement aimed at reducing road deaths, but Scotland Yard refused to say whether the scheme would be extended to other roads in future.
Detective Superintendent Andy Cox insist the drone will be focused on capturing dangerous drivers who are putting lives at risk rather than targeting those who are travelling a few miles per hour over the limit
Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, head of the Met’s roads and traffic policing unit, told the Evening Standard: ‘This is one of many enforcement tactics being used. Its aim is to deter dangerous driving and we hope the message of ‘drive lawfully, stay safe and keep a clean licence’ is widely understood.
‘However, deterrence is sometimes best achieved through intense enforcement and that’s what this capability enables.’
He added: ‘The focus will be on dangerous drivers who are racing and those putting their lives and other people’s at risk.’
A specialist police drone operator will review the aerial footage captured by the device and can then direct a waiting traffic car to stop offenders
More than 160 motorists have been caught speeding in the capital over the past five weeks, with some being detected at speeds of up to 127mph.
French police have already starting using drones to target dangerous drivers in Bordeaux, but they have never been deployed in the UK specifically to monitor motorists.
A total of 31 out of Britain’s 45 police forces now own or have access to drone technology for use in operations from search and rescue to managing a hostage taking.
But rapid advances in the technology are creating new opportunities for forces, such as monitoring protests.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that a police drone in being used to support the Roads and Traffic Policing Command activity as part of Vision Zero week of action to reduce deaths and injury on London’s roads. The drone is being used to support gathering of intelligence and evidence.’
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