New technology reduces motorway delays

The Department for Transport has announced a revolution in the way motorway accidents are recorded – and for once it is great news for motorists.

Anyone who has ever been stuck on a motorway following an accident will have shouted in desperation “Why don’t you just push all the wreckage onto the hard shoulder and get the traffic flowing?”.

The answer, of course, is that police need vital information on the position of the cars and a record of the damage to facilitate subsequent enquiries and possible court cases. This is absolutely critical in the event of a fatal accident where data is required to either prove or disprove negligence or dangerous driving. The DfT say they are awarding £2.7 million to enable 27 police forces across England to purchase new 3D laser scanners that will record pictures of crash sites 50% faster than existing technology. The highly detailed 3D images will not only improve the quality of the recorded data but will help reduce the enormous delays experienced by motorists following a collision.

Motorway accidents are currently estimated to cost over £1 billion a year although at Safer Motorways we believe the cost could be almost double this estimate once you dial in all of the associated lost time and lost productivity of other motorists caught up in the ensuing delays.

If this project is as successful as hoped, delays could be reduced, on average, by around 90 minutes.

Tests on the 3D Scanning System in London have shown that the new scanners provide 30% more data, obtain the evidence in less than half the time and support the claim that delays following a car accident on a motorway can be reduced by around 90 minutes.

The new RIEGL VZ-400 laser scanners have been proven to provide a significantly greater level of detail and colour compared to other laser scanners and can be used during the day, even in low light conditions, and at night.