S.C.I.D.

Scotland’s Campaign against Irresponsible Drivers - Supporting Victims of Road Crashes

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The amount of time that Scotland™s trunk roads are closed following serious accidents will be reduced thanks to new technology being introduced by Police Scotland and Transport Scotland.

Police officers are now being trained in the use of five new 3D laser scanning cameras which will be located at various sites across the country to help in the examination and clear up of crash sites.

Each scanner is accurate to within millimetres and has the capability to capture an entire collision site more accurately and more quickly than more traditional methods.

The scanners record up to a million points per second whilst rotating 360 degrees, recreating a virtual image enabling officers to view the scene from any angle.  The data is then transferred to a laptop to be worked on remotely where officers can use the 3D image to oversee the crash site, the proximity of vehicles involved and other relevant aspects of the scene.

Inspector Darren Faulds, Police Scotland Driver Training, said:

“At the moment, if there is a serious or fatal crash on a road, the area is closed to allow those who have been injured to receive treatment and to protect those who are working at the scene.  During this time, officers will meticulously examine the scene before recording each point of evidence manually using traditional surveying equipment.

“The virtual survey taken by the new scanners can be done in less time and this, combined with prudent scene management, will make a significant impact on the time taken for investigations at crash sites.  This will also have a beneficial knock on effect with regard to the cost of road closures and the disruption to commerce and the public.”

Funding for the five scanners, each costing £50,000 and made by the Swiss based Leica Geosystems, has been provided by Transport Scotland as part of a Scottish Government-led scheme aimed at reducing delays caused by road traffic collisions.

Transport Minister, Keith Brown, said today: “Road closures are only ever put in place in the most serious of incidents and I know that people are understanding of the circumstances.  However, frustration can creep in and the new laser scanners will allow a thorough examination of accident sites in a shorter time scale, meaning that the road will be opened more quickly.

“The scanners will be brought into use over the coming weeks and their benefits should be realised quickly.  I am sure they will have a particular use in more rural areas where there are fewer diversion routes available when incidents take place.

“This development is part of our on-going efforts to improve journey time reliability and we expect further positive developments to come out of the regular incident management forums that Transport Scotland has with Police Scotland and our partner organisations.”

Initially 20 officers across the Force area will undergo intense training in the technology and the apparatus will be based at dedicated Road Policing Units across the country in order to minimise attendance times at crash scenes.

Inspector Faulds added: “When the data is captured and the investigation complete, officers will present the images at court in their final format.  This will enhance the quality of evidence available to the court, and will provide a virtual representation of the scene that will make it easier for those involved to visualise the crash scene.”

Superintendent Iain Murray, head of Road Policing, said today:

“The decision to close a road is never taken lightly and only occurs when the collision has blocked the road, or where there is a need to protect those who might already have been injured and the emergency service staff who are dealing with the incident.

“The impact on local communities and the wider economy is always at the forefront of investigators™ minds, but there is a need to ensure that incidents are investigated thoroughly to provide families with the support and information that they deserve and also to make sure that any safety issues are identified and addressed.

“We continue to work in partnership with Transport Scotland to make Scotland™s roads safer and we are grateful for the provision of this new equipment that will help to enhance the quality of investigation and reduce the time spent at crash scenes.”

“Road closures are only ever put in place in the most serious of incidents and I know that people are understanding of the circumstances.  However, frustration can creep in and the new laser scanners will allow a thorough examination of accident sites in a shorter time scale, meaning that the road will be opened more quickly.

“The scanners will be brought into use over the coming weeks and their benefits should be realised quickly.  I am sure they will have a particular use in more rural areas where there are fewer diversion routes available when incidents take place.

“This development is part of our on-going efforts to improve journey time reliability and we expect further positive developments to come out of the regular incident management forums that Transport Scotland has with Police Scotland and our partner organisations.”