Film footage reveals how reckless motorists risk the lives of workers that maintain the nation’s most critical road
Number of incidents at roadwork sites
Dangerous, rude, and irresponsible motorists risk the lives of thousands of road workers per-year by smashing through the cones that separate them from the traffic, Highways England confirmed. Verbal abuse is common, too. On average, there are three-hundred incidents a week as workers maintain the motorways and A-roads. This equates to more than fifteen-thousand every year.
Crazy motorists captured on film
Highways England has showcased a few shocking incidents. On the A120 in Essex, for example. Footage reveals a car being chased through a coned-off section by police. The hooligan shows no thought for the safety of workers. One worker shouts “stop that car” to a colleague who blocks the obvious escape route with a van.
This effort proves insufficient, though. The reckless motorist stops briefly – long enough for a close-up picture to be taken – then mounts the kerb to escape the pursuing police car. ”His actions jeopardised the lives of all those road workers”, Highways England confirmed. It is not clear whether he was ever apprehended.
The M1 also witnessed an alarming incident. The footage is taken from a static camera, on the inside lane and facing oncoming traffic. Red traffic red cones confirm that the inside lane is closed. However, a lorry driver is not paying attention. He/she therefore hits the cones then swerves sharply into the second lane.
Violence and abuse
Consider violence and abuse, too. Adie Whiting, 33, is a Traffic Officer that deploys cones, signs and barriers. His role, therefore, is to minimise risk to workers and any inconvenience to motorists. Despite this, he is often “sworn at” and someone tried to run him over. You need a “thick skin” to do this job, he stated.
Highways England’s viewpoint and advice
Chief Highways Engineer, Mike Wilson, criticised the hooligan motorists that show no consideration for others. He stated: “Drivers that selfishly, and illegally, ignore traffic restrictions and force their way through, put both their lives and those of our road workers at risk – all to save a few minutes on their journey.”
Highways England has also reminded motorists it is their responsibility to take extra care close to roadworks. Tips include:
- Obey any lower speed limit
- Obey any traffic signs
- Recognise that if you cannot see any road workers they might be standing behind equipment rather than off-site
- Note that it is harder to spot workers in poor light
- Consider what it would be like to have lorries and cars race through your place of work – then drive accordingly