The Metropolitan Police (Met Police) in London will become the first UK police to use a drone to monitor road users. In hopes of reducing the number of dangerous drivers on the roads, the police force has enlisted the help of a drone.
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will target the road users engaged in dangerous driving – for instance, racing – which could potentially put others at risk, according to the force. The device was especially aimed at tackling dangerous drivers, rather than targeting those who are traveling a few miles per hour over the limit.
The drone 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, so the police can deal with the suspect. In addition, it comes with night vision capability and will be used on major roads such as the A10 in Enfield where many people have been killed in the past two years in speeding-related operations.
As the UAV itself is not equipped with a speed gun or radar, it will not be able to enforce speed limits but could alert officers on the ground who can then intercept them for speeding.
“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 license’ is widely understood,” said, Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, head of the Met’s roads and traffic policing unit.
“However, deterrence is sometimes best achieved through intense enforcement and that’s what this capability enables,” he said.
It will be used between 22 and 26 July. Initially, the unmanned aerial vehicle is being deployed on the major roads in London for a week with the aim of reducing deaths on the streets. However, Scotland Yard refused to say whether the scheme would be extended to other roads in the future.
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In the past five weeks, more than 160 motorists have been caught speeding, with some being detected at speeds of up to 127mph.
“The focus will be on dangerous drivers who are racing and those putting their lives and other people’s at risk,” added Cox, as per Evening Standard report.
Cox is the Met’s lead on Sadiq Khan’s Vision Zero initiative, which seeks to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries from the capital’s road network by 2041 – will see a radical change to how London approaches road danger.