Feeds

Cops get 3D laser scanners for motorway crash sites

£2.7m from DfT for new tech will help tackle closures after smash-ups

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded 27 police forces across England £2.7m worth of funding for the implementation of 3D laser scanning technology.

The government hopes that the technology will shorten motorway closures after crashes as the scanners will save time by quickly making a 3D image of the whole crash site, rather than investigators having to survey multiple sections of a scene. The 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 important evidence.

Police forces and the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) will also make financial contributions to the project, which will allow the purchase of 37 scanners. Thames Valley and Hampshire police authorities, which share ICT services, will receive the most scanner units. The forces will implement five scanners after receiving a grant of £395,675 from the DfT.

The wider roll out of 3D laser scanning technology is part of a government-led initiative known as Clear (Collision, lead, evaluate, act, re-open). The project aims to reduce delays caused by incidents in order to keep traffic moving.

Mike Penning, roads minister, 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 £1bn 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 £2.7m 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."

According to the DfT, there were more than 18,000 full or partial motorway closures lasting a total of more than 20,000 hours in 2010. The government hopes that its strategy will help drive down the £1bn annual cost to the economy.

Successful police force bidders will start to receive their grants this month, with the aim of putting out the scanning technology on motorways and 'A' roads a quickly as possible.

Commenting on the project, chief constable Nick Gargan, chief executive of the NPIA, said: "The project also supports a standardised approach to surveying motorway incident scenes, in line with the police service's Information Systems Improvement Strategy (ISIS) strategy of using IT to enable business change within the service."

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.