Distance control from above: police drone transfers jostling trucks on the A2

Distance control from above: police drone transfers jostling trucks on the A2

The police in Brandenburg are increasingly using camera drones to track distance violations. On Wednesday, the digital helper was in action on the Autobahn 2 between Wollin and Brandenburg an der Havel and transferred 24 truck drivers who, according to the press release, committed clear distance violations.

The police rely on a DJI Matrice M300 that flies at a height of about 100 meters, as reported by the Bild newspaper. Depending on the equipment, the professional drone currently costs around 10,000 to 15,000 euros – according to a MOZ report, the police paid around 30,000 euros for its purchase. According to the manufacturer, it has a range of up to 15 kilometers and can remain in the air for up to 55 minutes. The aircraft is also used, among other things, by the fire brigade, by rescue services to search for people, in criminal prosecution – such as by the Hessian police – and for inspecting high-voltage lines.

The drone is controlled by officials from the Technical Operations Unit (TEE) of the “Special Services” Directorate. The drone was used for the first time in 2020 in the now controlled area. According to the aerial recording, police motorcycles guide truck drivers off the freeway to a parking lot where a checkpoint has been set up. There the vehicles are checked for other offenses such as missing breaks, correct load securing and defects.

Statewide, six police drones are in use in Brandenburg. They fly at highway controls at a height of 70 to 135 meters. Since they are hard to spot, truck drivers have a hard time warning each other. In addition, the drone flights are significantly cheaper than if the police would use helicopters. Their costs are around 5,000 euros per flight hour. In other federal states, such as in Saxony-Anhalt, the police use the flying inspectors. In Brandenburg, the police also use their drones for controls on lakes.

In the case of distance controls on the motorway, the police refer to the large number of serious accidents that are caused by driving too closely. In the first half of 2022 alone, 32 such accidents were registered. Distance violations on the Autobahn cost truck drivers 80 euros and one point. From a driving speed of 50 km/h, a minimum distance of 50 meters must be maintained, which corresponds to the distance between two delineators on the motorway.

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