Delta police deploy drone to catch street-racing vehicles

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      A police department in Metro Vancouver is turning to an eye in the sky to crack down on street racing.

      The Delta Police Department stated that its traffic section used a drone on August 26 to address street racing that had been taking place in the area of Highway 17 and on Tsawwassen First Nation land.

      Police issued several speeding tickets, conducted inspections on vehicles, and towed a vehicle for “being mechanically unfit after being modified for street-racing”.

      One vehicle was clocked at 157 kilometres (98 miles) per hour in an 80 kilometres (50 miles) per hour zone. Officers issued the driver a ticket for excessive speed and impounded the vehicle for seven days.

      Excessive speeding tickets include fines ranging from $368 to $483. That's in addition to impounding and towing fees. Also, three points are added to the driver’s driving record and a driver risk premium is added to insurance costs.

      “The drone allows our officers to have fantastic visibility over a wide area, as well as zoom in on offender’s license plates,” Delta Police Traffic Section head and acting Sgt. Grayson Smith explained in a news release. “Instead of trying to pull over these drivers going at high speeds, the drone operator follows them, and officers who are strategically placed can make these stops when safe to do so.”

      Smith added that because of the "productive" use of the drone, it will be used more in the future.

      As September is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the DPD also stated that officers are out enforcing and educating about distracted driving laws, and the dangers of using phones while driving.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.