Big boost for road crash probes

SPEEDING up investigations to get major roads in Herts and Beds open again after crashes is a step nearer reality.

Hertfordshire Police Authority has been successful in bidding for money from the Department of Transport to provide state of the art laser scanning technology.

It will help reduce the amount of time that roads are closed following serious collisions.

The authority has secured over �200,000 of which �158,000 is provided by the department.

The money will be used to buy laser scanners that quickly and efficiently collect information from road traffic collisions. This allows the police to gather any information that is required for future legal action while only closing the road for a minimal period of time.

Hertfordshire has one of the largest concentrations of major roads in the country including the A1 and M1.

David Lloyd, police authority chairman, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Government to improve highway efficiency in the county.

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“Hertfordshire has some of the busiest roads in the whole country so using new technology to reduce accident investigation time is very welcome. The Department for Transport scheme is an excellent example of how public bodies can work together to make improvements for the public.”

Transport minister Mike Penning, the MP for Hemel Hempstead, 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 clear-up times following accidents so we can get our motorways re-opened as quickly as possible.

“Today’s �158,270 DfT funding award to Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police 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.”