Spain deploys drones to monitor traffic blackspots

Drones will gather evidence on driving offences and assist emergency services

Photograph: Stephan Zirwes/Getty Images/fStop

The DGT is buying 20 more drones to be used for patrols and traffic control.  Spain’s traffic authorities are deploying drones to help tackle drivers breaking the law as the annual August exodus begins.


The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) said it had 11 drones, three of which had been certified by the Spanish Meteorological Centre to gather evidence.


The remote-controlled aircraft will monitor areas where accidents frequently happen and roads used by large numbers of cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. They will also be used at large events that cause heavy traffic and to assist the emergency services.


Photographic evidence gathered by the certified drones will be sent to civil guard traffic officers as soon as offences are committed, or relayed later to the relevant authorities.


“In the early days of August, the three [certified] drones will be in the Canaries, where we don’t have helicopters, so we can cover things,” said a DGT spokesman. “After that they’ll be sent wherever they’re needed. There’s no set plan yet. The other eight will also be deployed wherever they’re needed depending on traffic flows.”


The DGT said it was in the process of buying 20 more drones to be used for patrols and traffic control.


It expects 47m long-distance trips will be made as Spain enters the summer holiday period. On Wednesday and Thursday of this week alone, the DGT estimates 2.9m long journeys will be undertaken – twice the average for the summer period.


“Although 1 August is still the day when thousands of people begin their holidays, recent years have seen people choosing to break up their vacations and enjoy shorter periods away,” the directorate said. “That’s why the DGT will be deploying special traffic teams every weekend during the summer to assist drivers with their needs.”

1st August 2019