Scanners To Cut Motorway Delays

Drivers across England are to benefit from shorter motorway closures after crashes thanks to the roll-out of 3D laser scanning technology funded by the Government and police, Roads Minister Mike Penning announced today.

The Department for Transport has awarded 27 police forces across England a total of £2.7million. The funding, together with police and the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) contributions, will enable them to purchase 37 scanners.

Kent gets two

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.

The wider roll-out of 3D laser scanning technology is part of a Government-led initiative known as 'CLEAR.'. This initiative is delivering an action plan aimed at reducing delays caused by incidents in order to keep traffic moving - a vital element in securing the UK?s prosperity.

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.

"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. I would also like to thank the National Policing Improvement Agency for providing a contribution to the funding."

Last year (2010) there were more than 18,000 full or partial motorway closures lasting a total of more than 20,000 hours.