Shropshire Star

Police to use drones to catch dangerous drivers in bid to cut down on fatal and serious crashes

Drones are being used by police to catch dangerous drivers at accident blackspots.

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Dyfed Powys Police will be using drones in their effort to catch dangerous drivers.

Dyfed-Powys Police is using the technology as part of its efforts to cut down on the number of people injured or killed on its roads.

The county has some of the most popular routes in the UK for drivers and motorcyclists.

With summer now well and truly here the county is once again welcoming large numbers of people using its picturesque roads.

But Dyfed-Powys Police has voiced concerns over the number of people being hurt or killed on Powys' highways – last year the county saw 90 serious-injury collisions and 13 fatalities.

The force said incidents cause a lifetime heartache for families involved, and also put a strain on resources.

In a bid to reverse the trend, the force is sending up its drones to help officers identify people carrying out dangerous manoeuvres at known accident hotspots.

Inspector Gareth Earp said: “Our Roads Policing Unit in partnership with Go Safe are gearing up for the coming tourist season with a focus on improving road safety and driving behaviour.

“Every year we welcome thousands of visitors to the beautiful counties that make up the Dyfed-Powys area and as a unit we are committed to ensuring that both visitors and residents are free to travel safe from harm.

“In line with our aims to improve road safety as part of Operation Darwen and Project Edward (Every Day Without a Road Death), officers from our Roads Policing Unit will now regularly be joined by officers from our specialist drone unit and the Go Safe team and will work together to target this small minority of reckless individuals.

“This joint approach has the aim of improving road safety at its heart, with education and elimination of reckless behaviour as a core principle, coupled with the taking of enforcement where necessary.”

Dyfed-Powys is using the specialist kit to identify people committing what are known as 'the Fatal 5 offences', such as careless driving, speeding and using a mobile phone, with suspected sightings relayed to officers on the ground to follow-up.

Inspector Earp added: “Officers will be taking a highly targeted approach to this new combined initiative and activities will be carefully focused on key ‘hot spots’ which have been identified from collision data and other relevant information.

“We acknowledge the fact some members of the public may be concerned at the wider use of police drones and would like to offer reassurances to them that this is about improving road safety for all road users and is simply another tool now available to us to assist us in our mission to reduce collisions, prevent harm and to promote the safe enjoyment of our beautiful force area by residents and visitors alike.”