Drones are used by specially trained officers to help monitor, identify, and, if necessary, prosecute road users who drive or ride dangerously in accident hotspots on Powys roads.
Dyfed-Powys Police has some of the most popular routes in the UK for drivers and motorcyclists, and now that summer has arrived, it is welcoming a large number of road users to the police area to enjoy the stunning scenery.
Unfortunately, a small number of motorcyclists and motorists continue to drive dangerously, recklessly or anti-socially, affecting the safety of themselves and other road users.
This is reflected in the number of people seriously injured or killed on Powys roads – last year, there were 90 collisions in which people were seriously injured and 13 deaths in the county.
Not only have these events been a strain on resources, more importantly, they have caused a lifetime of heartbreak for families who have lost a loved one or someone who has suffered life-changing injuries.
In a bid to reverse this worrying trend, police are flying its drones to help officers identify people carrying out dangerous movements in places known for road accidents.
Inspector Gareth Earp said: "Our Road Policing Unit, in partnership with GanBwyll, is preparing for the upcoming visitor season, and focusing on improving road safety and driving behaviour.
"Each year, we welcome thousands of visitors to the beautiful counties that make up the Dyfed-Powys area, and as a unit, we are committed to ensuring that visitors and residents alike are free to travel safely from harm.
"In line with our objectives to improve road safety as part of Operation Darwen and Project EDWARD (Every Day Without Road Fatalities), officers from our Road Policing Unit will now regularly be accompanied by officers from our specialist drone unit and the GanBwy team, and will work together to target this small number of reckless individuals.
"The central aim of this joint approach is to improve road safety, with educating and eradicating reckless behaviour a core principle, along with taking enforcement action when necessary."
Dyfed-Powys Police use the specialist equipment to identify people who commit the 5 fatal offences, such as careless driving, speeding and mobile phone use. Officers on the grounds are alerted to possible offences so they can pursue them.
Inspector Earp added: "Officers will take a highly targeted approach to this new combined initiative, and activities will focus carefully on key hotspots identified through collision data and other relevant information.
"We recognise that some members of the public may be concerned about the wider use of police drones, and we would like to reassure them that this is about improving road safety for all road users, and that it is just another tool that is now at our disposal to assist us with our mission to reduce collisions, prevent harm and promote the safe enjoyment of our beautiful police area by residents and visitors alike."