Houston To Deploy Unmanned Spy Planes as Speeding Ticket Drones

by TheNewspaper.com

By June 2008, the city of Houston will use the same military drone aircraft currently used to hunt down terrorists overseas to write speeding citations on Texas freeways. Local television station KPRC exposed the Houston Police Department's plan by using the station's news helicopter to spy on what was supposed to be a confidential gathering of area law enforcement personnel where the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities were demonstrated. The test took place seventy miles northwest of Houston in Waller County.

While police have used aircraft to issue speeding tickets for years, the practice can be quite expensive. The cost to operate an aircraft such as a Cessna 182 can run beyond $200 an hour, which cuts into ticketing revenue. The UAV manufactured by Insitu, however, can stay aloft for up to twenty hours using just over a gallon of gasoline. While it only cruises at 55 MPH with a top speed of 86 MPH, its powerful onboard camera can zoom in on a vehicle from a distance of 60 miles with full night-vision capabilities.

Although Houston Police Executive Assistant Police Chief Martha Montalvo told reporters that the main mission of the device would be homeland security, KPRC confirmed that the department's traffic unit played the lead role in the demonstration.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

"Do the lies ever end? Why are those who pretend to represent us always trying to use our tax dollars to create another revenue source?" —The Muckraker

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why isn't a bigger version of this drone being used to fight fires on the west coast? Why risk the lives of pilots when a drone could put out the fire? Our government doesn't seem to care about our own saftey- otherwise they'd be spending time building such a machine instead of focusing on another way to pickpocket motorists. It's embarrassing that one of the United States' most sophisticated military weapons will be used against its own citizens. Why isn't this drone in Iraq helping the troops right now? The war isn't over. Is pickpocketing American motorists more important than the safety of American troops?