Queensland Police have demanded unmanned aircraft to track hoon cars as new figures reveal almost one in four high-speed pursuits end in a crash.
At a coronial review of the police pursuit policy this week, Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson revealed his plan to use unmanned surveillance aircraft to identify rogue vehicles.
He said the aircraft would be small enough to hover unseen, only 200m above the road, and could "lock on to cars" that were being driven irresponsibly.
"Technology is moving at a breathtaking pace," Mr Atkinson told the hearing.
He said the aircraft could send images back to police on the ground and were able to be remotely controlled.
"They can operate 24/7 and have recording capabilities. There's a whole range of reasons why that could be the best way to go," he said.
"This is one of the proposals we want to progress."
Unmanned aerial vehicles are already being used by the Australian Defence Force in Afghanistan to provide real-time information about terrain and activities in different areas.
The Australian Federal Police are also believed to be trialling the technology for counter-terrorism purposes.
Mr Atkinson conceded any "big brother" concerns would need to be addressed before such technology could be used by Queensland police.
State Coroner Michael Barnes is expected to deliver his findings from the review of the police pursuit policy in the new year.
Changes to the policy at the start of last year excluded police from chasing vehicles for traffic offences and imposed strict criteria on the continuation of pursuits.
Inspector Tony Fleming told the hearing he would be opposed to any "prescriptive" changes - such as introducing a speed limit on pursuits or making school zones off-limits.
"Each case needs to be assessed on its merits," said Insp Fleming, who wrote the policy. "To say absolutely never, ever has a risk attached to it."
The hearing was told an attitudinal survey of police found more than half (59 per cent) wanted a "less restrictive policy in place".
Insp Fleming was also asked about a breakdown of police pursuits in 2008, which found 24 per cent ended in crashes and the same number were non-compliant with the policy.
"Frankly, they just got it wrong," he said.
Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson wants robot plane to track speedsters | The Courier-Mail