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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Call for drones to be rolled out nationwide as speeding hotspots revealed

Road safety experts are calling on police forces to do more to keep Britain’s roads safe by immediately rolling out life-saving drones nationwide. Road safety experts at Road Angel are calling for every police force in the UK to use the machines to tackle the high rates of death and serious injury on the roads. Devon and Cornwall Police have been using drones to record dangerous driving and catch offenders since April. However, they still haven’t been introduced anywhere else to specifically target recklessness on the roads. Government figures show that for the year ending June 2022, 29,795 people were reported killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads, an increase of more than 2,000 from the previous year. Of the people killed or seriously injured on British roads last year, 1,695 died, which was an 8.7% increase from the year previous. With road deaths and injuries across the country showing no signs of slowing down safety experts have criticised the failure to utilise drones in every police force. Currently, they are being used in Devon and Cornwall to monitor speeding and crack down on dangerous driving in trouble spots. The technology, which can spot motorists from 6km away, has been used by members of the police force and drone unit to help track dangerous drivers and capture their movements on camera. The drone footage is then sent back so the police can check if the vehicle has passed an MOT, is insured, taxed or even stolen. When a vehicle is detected breaking the law, patrol cars can then be sent to its location to deal with the offender, whether that be by reporting them to court for prosecution, arresting them on the spot, or handing out a fine. A freedom of information request to find the worst offending regions in the UK for speeding revealed Devon and Cornwall didn’t even make the top ten list. The findings show other areas including West Yorkshire, which ranked the worst, Avon and Somerset, Thames Valley and East Midlands are in desperate need of extra road safety initiatives to crack down on reckless drivers. Number of speeding tickets issued by Police forces in Britain from (Jan 21 to Jan 23). ​​ RankingPolice ForceSpeeding Tickets Issues

1 West Yorkshire224,160

2 Avon and Somerset173,428

3 Thames Valley151,501

4 West Midlands95,093

5 Surrey87,270

6 Bedfordshire69,818

7 South Yorkshire67,255

8 Hampshire62,514

9 Lincolnshire59,525

10 Hertfordshire53,627

Gary Digva, founder of Road Angel, said: “The drone initiative has already proved successful and useful for Devon and Cornwall police forces, so the delay in introducing it nationwide is disappointing. “Not only does the technology help police to find and punish dangerous drivers, but it will also deter them from driving recklessly knowing they are more likely to be caught. “Using high-tech drones to crack down on motoring offences and record incidences of unsafe driving has the potential to transform UK roads and reduce accidents and fatalities. “The drone scheme needs to be urgently introduced in areas such as Yorkshire and the East Midlands where police forces have recorded high incidences of dangerous driving. “Having drone video evidence is a great way to catch offenders in the act and help with prosecution, which will ultimately keep reckless drivers off the road. “The sooner that the technology is introduced to police forces nationwide, the quicker we will see an improvement in road accident cases.”

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