3D scanner to cut crash delays

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A SPECIALIST 3D scanner is to be used on South Yorkshire’s roads to help police survey crash sites more quickly in a bid to cut the time motorways are closed.

The Department of Transport has awarded £64,803 to South Yorkshire Police, £76,454 to the North Yorkshire force and £79,135 to West Yorkshire Police.

The new technology saves time by making 3D images of whole crash sites to avoid investigators having to painstakingly survey multiple sections of a scene.

Digital images of the crash sites can then be viewed on a computer screen remotely, allowing investigators to take measurements of where vehicles are in relation to each other and examine other important evidence.

The roll-out of 3D laser-scanning technology is part of a Government-led initiative aimed at reducing delays caused by incidents in order to keep traffic moving.

Roads minister Mike Penning said: “There is nothing more frustrating than being stuck in a traffic jam for hours on end. But even worse than that is the shocking £1 billion cost of those lost hours for our economy. That is why we are determined to improve the clear-up of accidents so we can get our motorways re-opened as quickly as possible. Today’s funding award will see 3D laser scanners rolled out quickly where they are needed most. This will benefit drivers by reducing incident clear-up times by 39 minutes on average.”

Last year there were more than 18,000 full or partial motorway closures across the country, lasting a total of more than 20,000 hours .

Assistant Chief Constable Sean White, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “The provision of the latest, leading-edge 3D laser scanning technology to assist in the detailed scanning of collision scenes will make an important contribution to investigating fatal and life-changing collisions, while always being mindful of the level of economic and other disruption that closures of the road network cause.

“Forces with this equipment will be in a better position to manage such events in a more efficient way and present the most accurate and detailed evidence from the scanners to courts. 

“The equipment will be deployed day and night across England and will make a real difference to improving the capability of collision investigators, reducing delays for all road users and reopening motorways and strategic roads at the earliest opportunity.”