Laser Scanning Speeds Collision Investigations for UK Police

Nottingham, UK, 17 October 2012 A state of the art laser scanner is helping the UK’s North Yorkshire Police open the countys roads faster following serious collisions, minimising congestion and therefore disruption to other road users. The RIEGL VZ-400, purchased from 3D Laser Mapping, is being used to record essential evidence at the scene. This data is used by Collision Investigators to produce a virtual 3D reconstruction of the site, including high quality graphics and detailed plans, for use in subsequent enquiries and court cases.

There are always two aspects of every collision; the scene itself and the detail of the collision including key evidence such as gouge marks, tyre scuffs, scratches, scrapes, debris and of course vehicle position, commented Dave Foster, Senior Collision Investigator for North Yorkshire Police. Using the VZ-400, purchased from 3D Laser Mapping, we have experienced at scene time savings of around 40-50 minutes.

We are also achieving efficiency gains back office when analysing the scanned data, continued Foster. Despite collecting literally millions of individual measurements we can easily create line of sight models and move the vehicles to model different elements and aspects of the collision.

North Yorkshire Police purchased the 3D scanner following funding by the Department of Transport, together with National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) contributions. Since taking delivery of the VZ-400 from 3D Laser Mapping the device has been regularly deployed on the countys roads. Examples of scenarios where the scanner has been used include a collision between two motorcycles and a car near Tadcaster where the collision scene was over 150 metres with multiple approaches and a head on collision on a rural road. The VZ-400 has also been deployed on the Countys Strategic Road Network with detailed site surveys completed in record time.

The objective nature of the scanned data means we capture every detail of the collision scene whether it appears relevant at the time or not. Foster continued, This means we can replicate impact positions, virtually moving the vehicles in the digital model. We can also interrogate the data to get a better understanding of drivers views, both of the scene and of the other vehicles, at varying stages in the run up to impact.

The VZ-400 from 3D Laser Mapping was the product of choice of 14 out of 22 Police Forces awarded funding, ordering a total of 26 RIEGL laser scanners. The devices have now all been delivered to the respective forces supported by a comprehensive training programme.


Reader enquiries to Charlie Whyman, 3D Laser Mapping Ltd,, tel: +44 (0) 1949 838 004,

The 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. The VZ-400 utilises unique echo digitisation and online waveform analysis to achieve superior performance and accuracies of measurement, even under adverse weather conditions. Achieving accuracies of 5mm at ranges of up to 600 metres the VZ-400 can measure up to 122,000 points per second with a 100 x 360-degree field of view

3D Laser Mapping is a global developer of laser scanning solutions for sectors such as mapping, mining and manufacturing. 3D Laser Mapping specialises in integrating laser scanning hardware with their own software and peripherals to create solutions at the cutting edge of technology. Through a worldwide network of distributors 3D Laser Mapping is able to provide frontline support and service for a growing international client base. 3D Laser Mapping is also the RIEGL Premier Distributor for the UK, Ireland and sub-Saharan Africa and the leading distributor of TerraScan software.

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RIEGL has over thirty years experience in the research, development and production of laser rangefinders, distancemeters and scanners. Primarily a technology company RIEGL specialise in producing technically innovative solutions for specific applications working in partnership with organisations such as 3D Laser Mapping to produce powerful turnkey solutions for multiple fields of application.

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