Authorities push for drones to be used to catch speeding drivers in Switzerland
Members of the government have pushed for remote-controlled drones to be used to catch speeding drivers in Switzerland. According to 20 minuten, the idea - already in place in Canton Thurgau - has seen some success, but many have raised concerns about excessive surveillance on Swiss roads and motorways.
Drones already used by Swiss police in Canton Thurgau
The policy of using drones to catch speeding motorists has been in place in Canton Thurgau since 2020. A member of the Swiss police told 20 minuten that the drones have made it much easier to catch speeders on open stretches of road, citing an incident in 2021 when they caught a motorbike travelling 213 kilometres an hour outside of town.
The idea involves members of the emergency services using handheld remote control drones to survey roads and measure the speed of cars. The drones are typically used on stretches of road that do not have any speed cameras.
Government officials push for implementing drones nationwide
"We have to get the speeder problem under control throughout Switzerland and consistently pull speeders out of circulation, " noted Green Party President for Canton Thurgau, Erika Hanhart. National Councillor Gabriella Suter agreed that “other cantons should also use the method.”
Suter announced that she would be pushing for the policy to be enacted nationwide at the next parliamentary session. “The speed limits are not recommendations, they apply to everyone," she concluded, arguing that drones are mostly preventative, as drivers never truly know whether they are being watched by a drone or not.
Opponents worry about excessive surveillance on Swiss roads
Others are not so keen on implementing the policy, with Aargau National Councillor Benjamin Giezendanner saying he “would resist implementation in the canton of Aargau by any means necessary." "It must not happen that the hunt for speeders turns into systematic surveillance of road users where people who drink coffee or turn on the radio while driving are suddenly punished," he argued.
For Giezendanner, and colleague Manual Strupler, current methods of policing need to be expanded. “I would like to see more police presence in the fight against crime and violence. If people no longer feel safe when they are out and about, especially now that it is getting dark earlier, a drone is of no use to them,” Strupler concluded.