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Safety concern raised after drone tows election ad over highway

An unmanned aerial vehicle or drone towed a Shari Lukens election sign over the Trans-Canada Highway near Tillicum on Wednesday afternoon. Lukens is the Conservative candidate in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke.
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Shari Lukens is the Conservative candidate in the new federal riding of Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke.

An unmanned aerial vehicle or drone towed a Shari Lukens election sign over the Trans-Canada Highway near Tillicum on Wednesday afternoon.

Lukens is the Conservative candidate in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke.

The drone, operated by a qualified pilot and within all rules, drew considerable attention, said Stephanie Rea, Lukens’ communications manager. No decision has been made on whether a drone will be used again, Rea said.

Saanich police spokesman Sgt. Steve Eassie cautioned against the practice. “To put it bluntly, flying the drone over a roadway where people are travelling at a high speed is not responsible. Standing on an overpass should be sufficient enough,” he said.

A drone could cause a distraction that leads to a collision, Eassie said.

“If it were over an open field, that would be a different story.”

Saying regulations were followed isn’t quite accurate, since drone-use rules haven’t been established yet, he said.

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