File picture: Newspress.

London - Police in the UK are planning to use a drone to catch speeding motorists for the first time.

Scotland Yard is testing the technology on major routes into London later this month to help reduce deaths and injuries on roads.

A specialist operator will review aerial footage from the device, which also has night vision capability, and will be able to direct a police car to stop offenders.

More than 160 motorists have been caught speeding in the capital over the past five weeks - some at up to 127mph (204km/h).

Police say drones can be deployed at high altitudes so they are not detected or closer to the ground so they are visible to motorists and act as a deterrent.

But officers stress it will be focused on capturing dangerous drivers putting lives at risk rather than those travelling a few miles an hour over the limit.

The technology is already starting to be used by French police to target dangerous drivers in Bordeaux.

Luke Bosdet, from the AA, said: "If it is the equivalent of using the police helicopter but it will reduce costs, it has got to be beneficial. But there will be some raised eyebrows at drivers being tracked by technology that has been used to hunt militants in war zones."

Joshua Harris, of safety charity Brake, said: "We welcome the use of technology to enforce against, and help deter, this selfish and dangerous behaviour."

Daily Mail