UAV's Deployed in Israel's Roads to Catch Violators

New technology previously used to fight terrorism in Gaza is now being used to make Israel's roadways safer.

Ezra HaLevi , | updated: 4:26 PM

The traffic department of Israel’s police has begun operating an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as part of its enforcement of traffic laws, in an effort to bring the number of road deaths down by keeping dangerous drivers off the roads.

The UAV will be used to track dangerous drivers from the air. The UAV, a Hermes 450 model, is a joint project of the police and the Ministry of Transport's National Road Safety Authority. It looks like a large radio-controlled airplane, was launched from a landing strip in the Golan Heights Wednesday and immediately began transmitting real time information to its operator on the ground, and to screens installed in police patrol cars.

Ground operators spot a vehicle committing a traffic violation and then instruct the UAV to follow the vehicle. Police cars stationed in the area then stop the driver and the officers are able to immediately show the violator the infraction recorded by the UAV.

The video shot by the UAV constitute admissible evidence in court when used to support the testimony of a police officer trained in traffic patrolling from the air. Israel’s police have already been using six helicopters and one airship for more than a year.

UAVs were previously used in Gaza to monitor terrorist activity and were also used to spot Jewish activists trying to enter Gush Katif prior to the Disengagement's implementation.

Police traffic chief Major General Shachar Ayalon (infamous for his role in commanding the violent destruction of the Gilad Farm) decided that the UAV would be initially used for enforcing traffic laws in the heavily-Arab populated Wadi Ara area (Highway 65) and along the Acco-Tzfat Galilee Highway #85.