3D Laser Mapping Helps Hertfordshire Police Speed Collision Investigations

Laser Scanning Helps Police Investigate Collisions Quickly, Safely and with Minimal Disruption

Nottingham, UK, 09 October 2013 – Laser scanning technology from 3D Laser Mapping is helping Hertfordshire Police to collect essential evidence for the investigation of road traffic collisions. In one example, after a collision on Watford Town Centres busy ring road, a complete view of the scene was collected in just 20 minutes. The scanning was conducted without the need for a full road closure whilst preserving the safety of officers conducting the scanning.

The RIEGL VZ-400, as used by Hertfordshire Police, collects millions of highly accurate measurements documenting an entire collision scene and its surroundings, including road layouts, markings and roadside furniture. From these individual point measurements a 3D computer model is generated for use by collision investigators and also, potentially, as evidence in court.

The RIEGL laser scanner allowed for a survey of the entire scene in just 3 scans, commented Matthew Hollingsworth, a Forensic Collision Investigator at the Beds, Herts and Cambs Collision Investigation Unit, about 20 minutes including set up time!

This was a big time saving on conventional methods and was also considerably safer. By using the laser scanner we were able to set up scan locations on the footway. This meant we didnt have to close the road and traffic could still use the highway, it also meant that officers were not standing in the carriageway with traffic passing around them.

Conventional methods would have required closures for longer, continued PC Hollingsworth, and also potentially re-visits to the scene to obtain further measurements of road layouts and markings. Using the laser scanner all the data we could potentially require for our investigations was captured at the initial scene visit.

Hertfordshire 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. This specific example of a laser scanner deployment was a two vehicle collision at a cross roads on the busy Beechen Grove intersection of Watford Town Centres ring road.

It is quite difficult to quantify the savings achieved through the use of the laser scanner, although in my opinion they are considerable, concluded PC Hollingsworth. In my view, on site time was greatly reduced and the amount of data captured, compared with conventional methods is vast.


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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

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 by 3D Laser Mapping supported by a comprehensive and well received training programme.

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.

For further information see www.3dlasermapping.com