The police in a suburban community of Canada are leading a new effort to crack down on dangerous driving with the help of drones. And having an eye in the sky is already showing results. Recently, the police in the City of Delta nabbed a speedster driving at 157 km/h in an 80 km/h zone.
The decision to use drones comes in response to an issue that concerned residents have brought up with the Delta Police Department on a number of occasions: speed racing. Apparently, local daredevils have found favorite spots to put pedal to the metal – the Tsawwassen First Nation lands and the area of Highway 17.
As Acting Sgt. Grayson Smith, head of the Delta Police Traffic Section, explains:
The drone allows our officers to have fantastic visibility over a wide area, as well as zoom in on offender’s license plates. Instead of trying to pull over these drivers going at high speeds, the drone operator follows them, and officers who are strategically placed can make these stops when safe to do so.
Drone video helps police in Canada to catch speedster
The first drone-enabled citation came during the enforcement effort on August 26 (video below). When the Delta Police discovered a vehicle doing nearly double the speed limit, the driver was served a ticket and the vehicle was impounded for seven days.
It’s worth noting that, in Canada, excessive speeding tickets have a cost that goes well beyond the $368 to $483 fines. In addition to impound and tow fees, this ticket adds three points to the offender’s driving record, which in turn, adds a risk premium to their insurance costs as well.
Interestingly, the police aren’t stopping at issuing speeding tickets alone. They are also leveraging the vantage point provided by drones to zero down on visibly modified cars. Recently, one vehicle was towed away for being mechanically unfit due to modifications made for street racing.
Smith points to the enforcement video from Tsawwassen as he sums up:
Using the drone in this manner was definitely productive. We’ll be making use of it for future enforcement initiatives of this nature. We wanted to release this footage to put a certain type of driver on notice: your reckless driving won’t be tolerated.
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