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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways


New trials of police drones have begun to try to reduce road accidents. A particular focus has also been put on motorcyclists.

The drones have been implemented by Devon and Cornwall Police, and are currently being trialled in response to 2022, which “was a terrible year for serious and fatal collisions involving motorcyclists,” the RAC reports Chief Inspector Ben Asprey, Head of Roads Policing at Devon & Cornwall Police, said.

The RAC reports that the drones will be able to be used to track a vehicle’s speed, and record any incidents. Video captured from the drone can then be used against offending road users.

Additionally, the drones are reportedly able to check the insurance, MOT, and road tax status of a car or motorcycle, for example, and track stolen vehicles.

Recording of a vehicle can be done by a drone up to four miles away, and the project is a part of Devon and Cornwall Police’s ‘Vision Zero South West’ initiative, which aims to improve road safety by totally eradicate injuries and deaths from road traffic collisions and crashes.

It seems that there is a particular focus on motorcyclists, as Chief Inspector Ben Asprey explained. “In 2022, 16 motorcyclists were killed on Devon and Cornwall’s roads – the highest figure in the past five years. A further 187 were also left seriously injured.

“Despite motorcyclists making up less than 1% of overall traffic, they account for roughly a third of all serious and fatal collisions in our area.”

Inspector Colin Harper, from the drone team at Devon and Cornwall Police, described the use of the drones as “innovative,” as reported by the RAC.

He added: “At present, our focus is on motorcyclists, who are at highest-risk according to our data, particularly at this time of year when more riders will be venturing out again after the winter.”

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