Can I Fly Drone Over Traffic? A Handy Guide


Are you planning on flying a drone over traffic?

Before you take off, it’s important to know whether or not it’s legal to do so. The rules and regulations regarding drone flight can vary depending on the location, so it’s important to do your research beforehand.

In this article, I’ll answer the question: can you fly a drone over traffic?

In short, the answer is NO! You cannot fly drones over traffic due to safety and security concerns.

The laws around drone flight can be complex. So, I’ll also let you know about FAA regulations, security concerns, permissions needed, and penalties (if any) so that you’re fully informed.

Can I Fly Drone Over Traffic

FAA Regulations on Flying Drones Over Traffic

Due to the following FAA regulations, you are not allowed to fly drones over traffic:

  1. Ensure airspace is clear and follow all rules and regulations before flying a drone over or near high-traffic roads.
  2. Consider avoiding drone flights in heavily populated cities, where there are many pedestrians and vehicles, to minimize risks.
  3. According to the FAA, flying a small UAS over moving traffic is not allowed due to potential distractions to drivers and the possibility of accidents.
  4. High-speed vehicles can cause substantial damage if a drone were to collide with them, adding to the reasons for avoiding drone flights over traffic.


Security Concerns

Flying a drone over traffic comes with its own set of unique security concerns, which are worth considering before launching your drone. Here are some potential security concerns to keep in mind.

Security Concerns for Flying Drones Over Traffic

  1. Collision Risk: Drones flying over traffic increase the risk of collisions with vehicles, pedestrians, or other obstacles, potentially causing accidents and damage.
  2. Privacy Invasion: Drones equipped with cameras may unintentionally capture images or video of individuals, raising privacy concerns and possible legal issues.
  3. Signal Interference: Radio signals from drones may interfere with other communication devices, such as emergency radio transmissions, affecting public safety.
  4. Distraction: Drones hovering over traffic can be a significant distraction for drivers, potentially leading to accidents and traffic congestion.
  5. Unauthorized Use: Drones operated without proper permission or certification can pose a threat to public safety and may result in legal consequences for the operator.

Permissions and Permits

To fly a drone over traffic, you must adhere to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, which prohibit flying drones over highways with moving vehicles.

However, if you are in a restricted-access or closed-access site and the occupants of the vehicle are aware of your drone usage, flight is permitted. For Category 1 small unmanned aircraft to operate over people, they must weigh 0.55 pounds or less (including everything onboard or attached) and have no exposed rotating parts that could cause lacerations.

It’s essential to obtain permission from other drivers involved in your drone project, ensuring they are aware of your drone and its purpose. Remember, even with consent, the vehicle must not be in motion during the drone operation.

Penalties for Flying a Drone without Authorization

Flying a drone over traffic without proper authorization can lead to serious consequences. Penalties for unauthorized drone operations in the airspace include fines and potential criminal charges. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can impose civil penalties up to $27,500 for each violation, while criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years. It is crucial for drone operators to adhere to the FAA regulations and guidelines to ensure safety and avoid legal repercussions.

Also check:


1. Can I Fly Drones Over Traffic if I am not a Licensed Drone Pilot?

No, you cannot fly a drone over traffic if you are not a licensed drone pilot. Flying a drone over traffic is a safety hazard and is generally prohibited by aviation authorities like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA requires that recreational drone pilots operate below 400 feet, maintain visual line of sight, and avoid flying over moving vehicles. It’s crucial to follow these rules to ensure the safety of both drone operators and the public on the roads.

2. Who can Authorize the Use of Drones Over Traffic?

The authorization for the use of drones over traffic is typically granted by the aviation regulatory body in your country, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. These organizations establish guidelines and regulations for drone operations, including altitude restrictions, airspace permissions, and safety measures. Drone pilots must adhere to these rules and obtain the necessary permits, licenses, or waivers before flying a drone over traffic or in restricted areas.

3. Can the Police Fly Drones Over Traffic?

Yes, the police can fly drones over traffic under specific circumstances and with proper authorization. Law enforcement agencies often use drones to monitor traffic, gather evidence, or assist in emergency situations, as long as they adhere to local regulations and privacy laws. It is essential for the police to obtain necessary permits and comply with guidelines established by aviation authorities, such as the FAA in the United States, to ensure safe and legal drone operations.


In conclusion, before flying a drone over traffic, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the appropriate resources and tools. Download the B4UFLY mobile app to easily find safe and legal flying locations.

Drone laws are subject to change, and information in this blog may become outdated; always consult official sources for the latest regulations.

And if you have a related query, kindly feel free to let me know in the comments.

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Peter Karanja is a licensed drone pilot from Kenya, freelance writer and drone enthusiast. He has been using drones for land survey, GIS, and photography for the past three years. Being a drone user, he loves writing about drone applications, safety tips for using drones, and the best ways to get the most out of a drone.

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