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Drones aid beach blitz

Published Wednesday, 22nd February 2017

The City of Wanneroo’s blitz against driving on beaches was assisted by the use of drones over the summer school holidays when on average a vehicle a day was booked.

Drone

During January, City rangers trialled the drones to expand search areas and to avoid dangerous pursuits of errant drivers.

The campaign to further enforce the decade-old ban on beach driving was launched immediately prior to Christmas following several near miss incidents that could have resulted in the death of beach goers.

The tough measures were also aimed at the environmental protection of the foreshore and dune systems that are already susceptible to erosion.

A convoy of four vehicles received multiple fines for driving on the beach at Two Rocks in broad daylight.

The crackdown received wide-spread publicity via Variable Message Signs (VMS) on Marmion Avenue, the City’s website and local press. In addition, there was a high level of communication across social media sites favoured by four-wheel-drive (4WD) enthusiasts.

The City’s Director Community and Place, Debbie Terelinck said she was surprised at the number of people claiming that they did not know it was illegal to drive on metropolitan beaches.

“Vehicle access to beaches in greater metropolitan Perth – from Mandurah to Two Rocks – has not been allowed for between 10 and 20 years.

“Cars and bikes are totally incompatible with families using the beach for recreational activities such as picnics, walks and swimming. Our primary concern will always be for the safety and protection of beach users.

“Having looked at some of the 4WD social media sites I have to say many enthusiasts promote doing the right thing, posting maps about where people can and where they should not go,” she said.

The crackdown continues, with more use of aerial technology to identify vehicles in prohibited areas, including dune systems.

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