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Pune Traffic Department deployed five drones to monitor the Mumbai-Pune Expressway over the weekend, alerting Traffic department about drivers who were speeding, splitting lanes or not following the road-safety rules.
Fifteen drivers were stopped and fined after live footage from the drones exposed them breaking the law.
This is the first time in India, the drones were used to monitor highway traffic. The training exercise is just a beginning of the government using technology to improve road-safety.
The State Government with the help of Aerial Mappers India Ltd, deployed five drones for surveillance on the expressway's ghat section after a series of fatal accidents were reported last month.
"Each drone was operated by a team including a pilot, a co-pilot, a technician and one policeman," said Aditya Hingane from Aerial Mappers.
"This is the first time we have used drones to monitor highway traffic. The operation was carried out between the Lonavala exit and Khalapur toll plaza," said Amol Tambe, Superintendent of police (highways), Pune.
"The errant drivers were stopped at the toll booths. At first, they refused that they had violated traffic rules. We then showed photographs captured by the drones."
The drones were equipped with night vision cameras and are capable of sending the live feed to the control centre.
"If someone cuts lanes, cameras take pictures of the registration plate. The information is then sent to the nearest toll plaza, where the driver is handed the photographic evidence and a ticket," Hingane said.
"Road accidents have increased because of indiscipline and rash driving. We don't have enough manpower, and in such circumstances, drones can be very handy," he added.