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Traffic police start using a drone on Costa to spot driving offences

Officials present the new drone in Malaga this week.
Officials present the new drone in Malaga this week. / F. S.
  • The system will not monitor speeding, but mobile phone use, distractions and inappropriate overtaking will be targeted

The government's road traffic authority (DGT) and the Guardia Civil have launched a video surveillance drone on motorways and main roads in Malaga and the Costa del Sol for the first time.

The drone will not monitor the speed of vehicles but will look out for "visible" offences, such as the use of a mobile phones while driving, irresponsible overtaking and distractions, as highlighted on Wednesday in a video at the campaign's presentation in Malaga city.

Each flight will have a duration of 25 minutes, and the equipment will rely on several batteries in order to keep running during each expedition. In Andalucía, there are now three drones of this kind in operation, of which one is based in Malaga.

As a priority, the equipment will be used to monitor stretches of roads that have a high risk of accidents, above all on motorways and main roads where there are more vulnerable users, such as cyclists and motorcylists, explained the DGT. Any fines given out will be accompanied by a certified photo with evidence of the offence that has been committed.

Peak summer getaway

The drone was introduced as part of the 1 August holiday getaway, the busiest time of the summer. Up to midnight last night (Thursday), some 121,000 long-distance journeys were expected in Malaga, the second biggest volume in Andalucía, after Seville (150,000).

Central government officials; the Guardia Civil head in Malaga, Jesus Esteban; and head of Traffic for Malaga, Trinidad Hérnandez, announced the drone campaign on Wednesday.

There will be special attention paid to motorcylists, a group of users which they pointed out have had an increase in fatal accidents - eight in Andalucía throughout the month of July.