Scanners will help clear road crash sites quickly

HIGH tech equipment that can speed up the reopening roads after accidents will soon be in use in Suffolk and Norfolk.

The Department for Transport announced yesterday that a joint application by the two counties for cash for 3D scene of accident laser scanners has been successful. The two forces will receive £146,370 in the New Year to help buy two scanners.

The technology saves time by quickly making a 3D image of the whole crash site, rather than investigators painstakingly surveying multiple sections of a scene. This digital image of the site can then be remotely viewed on a computer screen allowing investigators to take measurements of where vehicles are in relation to each other and examine other important evidence.

It was trialled by two police forces then the Government invited bids from the 38 police forces in England who have responsibility for policing the strategic road network. Of those, 23 forces applied and only the City of London’s bid was refused.

Announcing the £2.7 million investment, 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 £2.7 million DfT 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.

“I would like to thank police forces for seizing this opportunity to purchase laser scanners and contributing funds towards the purchase.

“This clearly demonstrates how forces are committed to helping to keep traffic moving, in support of economic growth, as well as continuing to deliver their vital role in ensuring the safety and security of all road users.”

The emphasis is on clearing motorways quickly, so the biggest grant went to Thames Valley and Hampshire at £395,675, towards five scanners, for motorways around London.