The Metropolitan Police are set to use drones to help deter dangerous drivers in London.
Justin Davenport, The Evening Standard, reports:
A drone is to be used by police to catch dangerous and speeding drivers in London, in the first initiative of its kind in the UK.
The machine will be deployed over roads in the capital later this month.
Scotland Yard says it is the first time a force has used a drone to target dangerous, careless or speeding motorists in the UK.
Officers say the aim is to catch drivers who put people’s lives at risk, rather than targeting motorists who are breaking the speed limit by a few miles per hour.
Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, head of the Met’s roads and traffic policing unit, said: “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.” Police say the drone will be used to alert officers on the ground to motorists driving dangerously so they can then direct a waiting traffic car to intervene and stop offenders.
The device will not be able to enforce speed limits but could alert officers on the ground who can then intercept them for speeding.
The police drone, which also has night vision capability, will be used on main routes coming into London. One of the first roads is likely to be the A10 in Enfield where eight people have been killed in the past two years — many in speeding-related accidents.
More than 160 motorists have been caught speeding in the past five weeks, with some being detected at speeds of up to 127mph. 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.
Mr Cox said: “The focus will be on dangerous drivers who are racing and those putting their lives and other people’s at risk.”
French police have used drones to target dangerous drivers in Bordeaux.
Officers use them to detect reckless driving, such as driving too close to another vehicle or illegal passing.
Utilising drone technology is a modern approach to deterring those who seek to drive dangerously in the capital, and will be particularly well adapted to the busy streets of London.