Dangerous drivers putting road workers lives at risk
Highways England has released new video footage to highlight the danger reckless motorists can cause to road workers.
According to Highways England, the videos show the kind of unacceptable driving behaviours that workers on Britain’s motorways and main roads are faced with every day – with an average of 300 incidents being reported every week.
In one video, a driver ignores a coned-off area on the A120 in Essex, before speeding away from roadworks.
While another incident captured on video shows a lorry driving through coned-off roadworks on the M1.
“While we plan our maintenance and improvement works to minimise inconvenience to drivers, some road closures are necessary, and ultimately for the benefit of road users,” said Highways England’s Chief Highways Engineer and Executive Director of Safety, Engineering and Standards, Mike Wilson.
“Drivers who selfishly and illegally ignore these traffic restrictions and force their way through are putting both their lives and those of our road workers at risk – all to save a few minutes on their journey.”
New research by Highways England shows there were nearly 3,500 incidents of incursions and abuse reported by road workers between July and September 2017.
Of these, 150 were reported to be serious, leading to four road workers and two motorists being injured.
And since October 2014, there were 341 incidents of either verbal or physical abuse towards workers were recorded across England.
Highways England said the most common targets for verbal abuse are traffic officers, who patrol motorways and A-roads. Their role is to deal with incidents as they happen and keep people safe by implementing lane closures where required.
One Traffic Control Safety Officer, Adie Whiting, from Doncaster, said: “I’ve been sworn at a lot, physically threatened on occasions and even had someone try to run me over once. You have to have a thick skin doing this job.”
With employees who drive for business more likely to be killed at work than deep sea divers or coal miners, driver safety is a vital business consideration.
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