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Bird's eye view: Drones are the Spanish traffic police's latest recruits

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Bird's eye view: Drones are the Spanish traffic police's latest recruits
A drone flying over the southern Spanish city of Seville. Photo: windjunkie/
14:11 CEST+02:00
With millions of Spaniards expected on the roads for the May public holiday, Spain's traffic authorities have launched a trial program to monitor traffic using drones.

There are only five so far, but they can cover a radius of 500 metres and fly at an altitude of 200 metres for hours. Seven more will be rolled out before the end of the year. 

The drones will make their first public appearance on May 1st across Spain and in Madrid also on May 2, both public holidays, when 7.4 million travelers are expected to take advantage of the break and travel to popular beaches and tourist destinations. 

According to the DGT, Spain's traffic authority, the aerial traffic devices' mission will be "exclusively one of vigilance and traffic regulation." The drones are cheaper than helicopters, added the DGT. 

"The incorporation of these unmanned devices to the aerial surveillance services of the DGT will contribute to better traffic management, greater protection for vulnerable groups (cyclists) and a better service in special operations, such as the Motorcycling Grand Prix, Paso del Estrecho or the holiday this weekend," the DGT's head, Gregorio Serrano, told Spanish daily El Mundo. 

Drones were also introduced by French police in 2017 to monitor traffic on highways. 

French policemen use a drone to monitor the drivers on the A10 highway in Virsac on July 7, 2017. Photo: Mehdi Fedouach/AFP.

According to the DGT, the most congested times to be on the road this weekend will be between 4pm and 10pm Friday and 9am to 2pm Saturday, reports business portal El Economista. 

READ MORE: Eagle patrol to battle drones over Spain's Royal Palace

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