NZ:- Police drone trial expected to speed up investigations


Belinda Feek

Police are trialling the use of drones at serious road crash scenes in an effort to speed up the investigation process.

That will mean less delays and traffic backlogs on busy roads including the Auckland Harbour Bridge which brings traffic to a standstill as police investigate, taking up several hours in most cases.

Just 10 days ago, the two city-bound lanes were blocked after a motorcyclist was killed in a crash on the southbound lane, causing widespread congestion. The trial is being held on Waikato roads after serious or fatal crashes.

District policing manager Inspector Freda Grace said she couldn’t yet confirm exactly how much time will be saved, but said it would be “quite significant”.

They’ve dubbed the drones Unmanned Aerial Vehicles [UAVs], which are installed with GPS mapping system.

The UAVs will be used alongside current police methods of investigating serious crash scenes to see if and how they are more efficient for the duration of the six month trial.

If successful, UAVs would be adopted full-time.

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