Faster, smarter, and easier.
Police officers across the state have been using laser technology to analyze traffic crashes. That means more reliable information for authorities and less time for other drivers sitting in traffic.
We reached out to Kauai Police – who were the first in the state to use the technology. They tell us the difference compared to their old method is night and day.
It’s called the Leica ScanStation.
“When we set it up at a crash scene, what it will do is it will rotate 360 degrees and gather evidence points,” said Sgt. Jason Overmyer of KPD.
The information collected maps the environment in great detail, creating a three-dimensional diagram.
“It can be anything from the road to gouge marks on the road, pieces of debris from the vehicles themselves,” said Sgt. Overmyer.
About five years ago, it took two people to manually measure a crash site. But not anymore.
“The scanner is collecting more evidence, more accurately, and doing it in a faster time,” he said.
That means drivers are waiting a lot less for lanes to open up.
“It has cut down on our on scene road closure quite a bit,” said Sgt. Overmyer.
Hawaii County and Kauai each have one Leica ScanStation. Maui has one for it’s traffic division and another for criminal investigations. Honolulu has five.
The scanners cost about $100- to $200-thousand. A couple of the counties used federal grant money to get one.
Experts say the benefits outweigh the cost.
“The benefit for the agency is they are able to use less resources to deploy to the scene,” said Leica Geosystems Regional Manager Dietrich Evans. “You capture everything the first time and you don’t have to revisit the scene, you can just revisit the 3D information if you need to.”
“In my opinion, this is absolutely the future measurement preservation because no longer will someone be confident looking at a 2D sheet of paper when they can look at a totally immersed 3D environment,” he explained.