Latvia's drivers beware: police is watching from up above

Take note – story published 3 years ago

The police have started to use a drone for road traffic control, and it has already identified a couple of aggressive drivers, said Normunds Krapsis, chief of the State Police, to Latvian Television September 16.

Krapsis said that the number of road deaths and victims in Latvia is not going down. This year by September 15, 91 traffic participants died in Latvia, 3025 were injured. Last year, 90 people died in accidents, while 3361 were injured.

Krapsis acknowledged that apparently little has been done to ensure that road users comply with the rules. He mentioned that, for example, 100 stationary and 14 mobile cameras have been insufficient, technology should be developed to control road traffic.

Recently, police have also received permission to use drone, and it has already given results, Krapsis said.

Previously, State audit condemned the police that it had purchased an unmanned aircraft for €5,000, but it had not been used because the Cabinet's rules prevented them from flying above roads. Now the permit has been issued, and drivers have to count on the fact that they can be observed from the air, Krapsis said.

Krapsis also acknowledged that more police capacity was needed to reduce accidents, because if the police are not visible, people tend to break rules. Most commonly, drivers use mobile devices behind the wheel, change lanes without need, do not show turn indicators. This must change and the public must condemn such action, Krapsis said.


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