ROAD closure times in Thurrock are likely to be reduced by an average of 39 minutes with the introduction of 3D laser scanning technology, roads minister Mike Penning said today.
Essex is among 27 police forces in England to be awarded the high-tech scanners as part of a £2.7million project by the Department for Transport.
The funding, together with police and the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) contributions, will enable the purchase of 37 scanners nationally.
Suffolk and Norfolk constabularies have been awarded £146,370 for two of them, while Essex has been given £69,204 for one unit.
Mr Penning told a newspaper: “This will benefit drivers by reducing incident clear up times by 39 minutes on average.”
The news has been greeted as a major step forward in helping speed up investigations, as well as decreasing the closure time of roads which is said to cost the economy £1billion a year.
Essex Police is delighted to be getting one of the 3D laser scanners.
Ch Insp Scott Egerton, of the county’s roads policing unit, said: “We will be using this equipment at many of our future serious or fatal crashes.
“With the funding for one scanner we will prioritise its use on the main roads and the two motorways in Essex where the impact upon those caught in traffic is greatest. On average, roads are closed for approximately four hours following life-threatening or fatal crashes.
“This allows a forensic examination of the scene to be conducted, other emergency service personnel to work safely and for the recovery of the vehicles involved in the collision.
“Every fatal road crash is treated as a crime scene and dealt with by road policing officers just as murder scenes in houses or streets are dealt with by detectives. This device will allow us to speed us the process and open roads quicker.”
The technology is said to save 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.