3-D laser technology keeps motorways open

Drivers across England are to benefit from shorter motorway closures after crashes thanks to the roll-out of 3-D laser scanning technology funded by the UK Government, National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA; London, UK), and individual police forces.

Drivers across England are to benefit from shorter motorway closures after crashes thanks to the roll-out of 3-D laser scanning technology funded by the UK Government, National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA; London, UK), and individual police forces.

The UK Department for Transport has awarded 27 police forces across England a total of £2.7 million, which, together with police and the NPIA contributions, will enable the forces to purchase 37 scanners to use for traffic accident imaging.

The technology saves time by allowing investigators to make a 3-D image of a whole crash site, rather than 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 3-D laser scanning technology is part of a government-led initiative known as CLEAR (Collision, Lead, Evaluate, Act, Re-open). This initiative aims to reduce delays caused by incidents in order to keep traffic moving.

In 2010 there were more than 18,000 full or partial motorway closures in the UK lasting a total of more than 20,000 hours.

-- By Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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