Federal Aviation Administration has authorized Illinois State Police to fly unmanned aircraft that would comply with federal standards for a two-year term. The police department is intentionally using the word “unmanned aircraft” instead of “drone” because “it carries the perception of pre-programmed or automatic flight patterns and random, indiscriminate collection of images and information.”. They are planning to be using it to speed up and enhance assessment of traffic crashes and crime scenes.
The ability to obtain accurate measurements and clear images from aerial photographs will significantly reduce the amount of time highways are closed during the initial investigation of major traffic crashes,” ISP said.
The Illinois General Assembly passed the “Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act,” which prohibits the use of drones in the state with a number of exceptions. Allowed conditions were limited to investigate crime scenes and traffic crashes in public areas and more.
“One of the concerns was always that a drone is an incredibly powerful tool to see into areas that police couldn’t otherwise see in,” “It’s used to follow someone at a relatively low-cost and extended period of time. And that’s exactly why the legislature passed it and the governor signed the bill. I think this shows the wisdom of that decision,” Spokesman of American Civil Liberties Union, Ed Yohnka said.
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Image courtesy of Ars Technica.