The German police use drones to hunt down traffic offenders

The police chase traffic offenders with drones. A current example shows how the police catch drivers who do not keep the safe distance on the freeway.

In Brandenburg, the traffic police use drones to monitor whether truck drivers are keeping the prescribed safety distance from the vehicle in front. The police of Brandenburg announced here.

This is how the mission works

Such a drone operation takes place on the A2 federal motorway. The drone flies over the motorway between the motorway junctions in Wollin and Brandenburg an der Havel and is intended to document dangerous distance violations by truck drivers. On the police side, the “Technical Task Force (TEE) of the ‘Special Services’ Directorate” and the traffic police of the West Police Department work together. According to, the drone is a DJI Matrice M300 with four rotors. The police paid 30,000 euros per drone, as reported by MOZ.

This drone takes pictures from a height of up to 100 meters, has a 30x zoom and a thermal imaging camera. The drone can fly for 40 minutes on one battery charge. The drone then lands and the police officers change the battery within a few seconds and the drone flies again immediately. The police officers then see the images from the drone on their screens. The police officers on the ground also control the drone.

Here the officers monitor the drone.


Here the officers monitor the drone.

© Police Headquarters West – Archive


The use of drones was successful, as reported by the police: “Between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., the camera of the unmanned aerial vehicle documented 24 clear distance violations by truck drivers. These included two transports of dangerous goods.”

As a result, motorcyclists from the West Brandenburg traffic police drove off, sat in front of the trucks and guided them to the next parking lot. Specialists from the special surveillance group had set up a checkpoint there and checked the distance offenders. The truck drivers are not yet familiar with this type of drone surveillance and are therefore surprised when the police officers confront them with the evidence.

This is how the drone records the traffic.


This is how the drone records the traffic.

© Police Headquarters West – Archive

The officials also took this opportunity to check for technical vehicle defects, correct load securing and violations of the break and rest time rules. The officials found one violation due to excessive driving times, three speed violations and an expired main inspection. In addition, a driver was driving without a valid driver’s license.


Peggy Wölk, head of the traffic police, states: “Once again it has been clearly shown that the police drone is a suitable control tool for documenting such dangerous driving styles Affected for a certain surprise effect.”

The advantage over helicopters: the drones are cheaper and cannot be spotted by truck drivers, or only with difficulty.

However, the use of drones for highway surveillance is not entirely new; these tests started as early as 2020.

Police let Adler bring down drones from the sky

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