Page last updated at 06:41 GMT, Friday, 26 February 2010

Hi-tech kit to help congestion after road collisions

Road congestion
It is hoped the equipment will reduce road closure times

Hi-tech equipment is being introduced to reduce road closure times after major incidents.

A £320,000 investment will be announced by Economy Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones at the Traffic Wales Management Centre in Cardiff.

The surveying kits will allow officers in each of the four Welsh police forces to collect evidence at collisions using a satellite navigation system.

The Welsh Assembly Government-funded scheme aims to reduce congestion.

Mr Jones, who is also the deputy first minister, said: "The purchase of this new kit demonstrates our commitment to improving the flow of traffic on our roads.

"It will significantly reduce road closure times, lessen congestion and shorten delays for motorists.

The work of the police will be more efficient, motorists will suffer less disruption and the impact on the economy will be minimised

Mick Giannasi, chief constable of Gwent Police

"The equipment will enable a one-person operation for collision investigation at serious incidents.

"Evidence can then be gathered quickly without having to rely on 'line of sight' to survey, or having to wait for the scene to be clear before gathering evidence."

Mick Giannasi, chair of the Association of Chief Police Officers Cymru and chief constable of Gwent Police, said: "Dealing with the consequences of serious and fatal collisions on the major roads network presents particular challenges and sensitivities.

"The police forces in Wales are delighted that the Welsh Assembly Government has invested in this state-of-the-art technology, which will enable us to carry out our investigative work more quickly and with a greater degree of accuracy.

Major incidents

"There are benefits all around. The work of the police will be more efficient, motorists will suffer less disruption and the impact on the economy will be minimised as much as possible.

"The cost of the equipment will more than pay for itself in the coming months and years."

The collision equipment was purchased in response to the series of major incidents on the M4 in 2007, which caused significant delays to the travelling public.

The launch of the new kit comes in the same week that the trial traffic officer service in south Wales became fully operational.

Officers in distinctly-marked vehicles now patrol the M4 motorway from the second Severn crossing to J34 at Miskin, as well as the A470 from Coryton in Cardiff to Abercynon.

Working from 0600 to 2000 every day of the year, their main aim is to respond quickly to incidents and make the area safe before calling in emergency services.

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