York Regional Police say they’ve purchased an unmanned aerial vehicle for use by traffic collision investigators to produce detailed maps of crash scenes.
Doing things the traditional way, investigators say it can take up to 8 or 10 hours to complete an investigation into a serious collision. But with a drone, the most time-consuming part of the process — creating an electronic map of the scene — can be completed much faster.
“With the assistance of the UAV to capture high-resolution aerial images of a collision scene, it is anticipated that when deployed, road-closure time will be reduced significantly,” police said in a news release.
The Canadian-made Aeryon Sky Ranger is flown by a tablet computer and carries cameras and forward-looking infrared technology. Two operators must be present to safely fly the drone. Police say they have already trained three people in how to fly it.
Police said they may also use the drone in search and rescue roles, to locate missing people, to deal with hazardous materials and to complete security sweeps of large outdoor events.
The propeller-driven aircraft weighs only 2.4 kilograms and can fly for up to 50 minutes at a time.