If you’d told people 10 years ago that small flying objects in the sky would monitor their traffic movements and slap them with fines, you’d have been laughed at. But 15 drivers on the Mumbai-Pune expressway are probably not laughing any more after having become the first people in India to be fined by a flying drone.
Drones were used for the first time on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway today to monitor vehicular traffic. “After receiving directives from the Maharashtra government, we conducted the demonstration for the first time and used two drones in ghat section (between Lonavala exit and Khalapur toll plaza) to monitor vehicular traffic on both the sides,” said Amol Tambe, Superintendent of Police (Highways), Pune Region.
And the drones delivered. Fifteen truck drivers were fined for cutting lanes after the drone caught them in the act. “They were given challan either at the Urse toll plaza or Khalapur toll plaza,” Tambe said.
The Mumbai-Pune highway is one of the finest in India and drivers zoom by at high speeds. This has also resulted in lots of fatal accidents on the stretch. CCTV cameras have been ineffective in catching speedsters as they can cover only limited parts of the expressway. Drones, on the other hand, are nimble and can patrol the area above the highway.
With this, India has joined a select group of countries, including the US and China, that employ drones to catch traffic violators. Given India’s increasing traffic and its shortage of traffic policemen, it seems like a good idea to turn to machines to catch the bad guys.