Mass. State Police using drone to reconstruct crashes

FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Massachusetts State Police demonstrated a helpful new piece of equipment in Foxboro on Friday.

The drone will help troopers investigate crashes by photographing the scenes and taking critical measurements.

It’s part of a pilot program to see how helpful the drones are.

Currently, troopers have to take measurements manually using poles. They check for skid marks, dented guard rails, and other pieces of evidence.

It’s a process that takes two to four troopers hours to do.

Major Richard Prior says he hopes the new drone will cut that time to ten minutes.

As part of the program, state police must have a certain number of troopers certified by the FAA to fly the drone.

The drone can only fly over people who consent to being filmed by it, according to police, and it must also be flown in the line of sight.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation purchased the drone and its software program using $20,000 of Highway Safety Funds.

If the program is successful, police said they hope to buy five to 10 more drones.