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29 December 2011, 06:00
New technology to help reduce the time motorways are closed after crashes was announced by the Government today.
In a a £2.7 million deal, 27 police forces, including Essex, are to get 3D laser scanning technology.
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 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.
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 £69,204 DfT funding award to Essex Police Force 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."
In 2010, there were more than 18,000 full or partial motorway closures, lasting a total of more than 20,000 hours.
Assistant Chief Constable Sean White, of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said: "We welcome enormously this important funding opportunity.
"It will make a very important contribution to properly investigating fatal and life-changing collisions while always being mindful of the level of economic and other disruption that closures of the strategic road network inevitably cause.''