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Drones to be used to monitor motorists as total road-death figure creeps up in 2017

The scene of a motorcycle accident in El Burgo, where a German man was killed recently.
The scene of a motorcycle accident in El Burgo, where a German man was killed recently. / SUR
  • The news comes after it was announced that the number of people killed on Spain's roads rose slightly last year

The DGT, the government agency in charge of managing traffic on the nation's roads, has said that it has plans to start using unmanned drones to catch drivers speeding, not wearing seatbelts or committing other infractions.

The news comes after it was announced that the number of people killed on Spain's roads rose slightly last year.

In 2017 there were 1,200 fatalities compared to 1,161 in 2016. This is the worst figure for five years and is the second year in a row that the number of road deaths has increased. Fatalities had been falling yearly since 2003, when the annual figure stood at 4,000.

Head of the DGT, Gregorio Serrano, explained the rise on an increase in the number of vehicles on the road and the number of journeys being made as the economy improves.

Outlining measures to combat the increase in deaths, he said that drones would be purchased in 2018 and be active by 2019 and have “much the same role as helicopter patrols”.

In the meantime, 60 extra mobile cameras measuring speeds between two points will be in use. “We have 27 speed cameras per million inhabitants in Spain, as opposed to the EU average of 73,” added Serrano.