Drones put to use by Dyfed-Powys Police to prevent accidents in Powys

DRONES are being used by specially trained officers to help monitor, identify and if necessary, prosecute road users that drive or ride dangerously at accident hotpots on Powys roads.
Dyfed-Powys Police has some of the most popular routes in the UK for drivers and motorcyclists, and now summer has arrived it welcomes large numbers of road users into the force area to enjoy the stunning scenery.

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Unfortunately, a small minority of riders and motorists continue to drive in a dangerous, reckless or anti-social manner, which impacts on the safety of themselves and other road users.

This is reflected in the number of people seriously hurt or killed on Powys roads – last year the county saw 90 serious-injury collisions and 13 fatalities.

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These incidents not only put a huge drain on resources, but more importantly caused a lifetime heartache for families who lost loved ones, or someone who has sustained life-changing injuries.

In a bid to reverse this concerning 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.”

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Dyfed-Powys is using the specialist kit to identify people committing 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.”

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