Motorway closures and delays to be cut short in 2012

Motorway delays
British motorists will soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief as new technology funded by the Government and police could drastically shorten motorway closure times after crashes.

The Department for Transport (DfT) and National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) has awarded 27 police forces across England a total of £2.7 million enabling them to buy 37 new 3D laser scanners.

The scanners could reduce incident times by up to 39 minutes on average when they are implemented as soon as January in some forces, according to the DfT.

The technology works by creating a 3D image of the entire crash site, cutting out the time it takes for investigators to survey each different section of a crash scene. The 3D image can be viewed on a remote computer and investigators can subsequently map out measurements of vehicles in relation to each other and other important data.

The scheme is part of a Government-led initiative named 'CLEAR', aimed at ensuring traffic keeps flowing on the UK's busy road networks.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, 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."

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) welcomes the breakthrough in technology and Assistant Chief Constable Sean White said: "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 re-opening motorways and other strategic roads at the earliest opportunity."