Alberta police take to the skies to catch speeding motorists

Published: June 30, 2019

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Law enforcement agencies in Canada are trying numerous ways to catch motorists engaging in law-breaking behaviour. For example, RCMP and police forces are now taking to the skies in an effort to stop people from speeding.

Alberta RCMP is now using helicopters to watch the road. The Calgary Sun reports RCMP in the province have helicopters equipped with engineer-certified stopwatches that can record vehicle speeds from hundreds of metres away.

This is achieved by placing lines on the highway for the technology to read. Speeding cars are spotted by the system, allowing the pilot to pass the information on to officers on the ground to make a standard stop.

Sgt. Dave Hardy says the technology and the helicopters are in place to catch speeders but are impacting other big four driver offences. He says when police make a stop following information from the helicopter, they often find the driver is impaired.

The system has been successful so far. In 2018, 1,965 speeding tickets were issued following input from the aircraft.

At the moment, helicopters monitor Highway 63, Highway 1a, Queen Elizabeth II Highway and the Trans-Canada Highway near Banff.

Alberta is cracking down on speeding with additional legislation. Calgary recently increased the fine for bikers speeding in the city to $400. Furthermore, the city is using uniformed officers 7 days a week in an effort to catch speeders.