Accident clear-up initiative saving millions per year, reports DfT
The “CLEAR” (Collision, Lead, Evaluate, Act and Reopen) initiative was launched by the Department for Transport last year to reopen motorways and roads quickly following major incidents.
A key part of the initiative has been the introduction of 38 DfT/police-funded 3D laser scanners that allow police forces to capture evidence quickly following collisions – helping to reopen major roads and motorways more quickly. The latest figures show an average time saving of 44 minutes per investigation – a five-minute improvement on test estimates.
Other initiatives include the launch of a new hands-free smart phone app that notifies users of incidents and congestion, as well as the planned roll-out of incident screens to shield collisions and prevent “rubber necking”, with a reported time-saving benefit worth up to several hundred thousand pounds per incident.
The DfT added that it’s confident these measures will help reduce the estimated £750m cost to the economy that incidents cause on the strategic road network in England annually.
Road Minister Stephen Hammond said: ‘We are now witnessing even greater than expected time savings as a result of the roll-out of laser scanning programme. This and other elements of the initiative, such as the use of incident screens, will help to keep traffic moving and save the economy tens of millions of pounds a year.
‘I am very encouraged by the cooperation shown by the Highways Agency, VOSA, the police and other emergency services, and fully expect these initiatives to result in further time and cost savings in the future.’
A report setting out the next steps of CLEAR is set to be published next year.