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MOTORWAY DEATH BLAMED ON CONTRACTOR

Poor traffic management led to fatal accident and prosecution

A road maintenance company, Cumbrian Industrials Ltd has been fined £65k after a motorist died on the M6 in Lancashire.

Graham Campbell died after his vehicle hit the contractor’s vehicle parked on the hard shoulder at around 11.30pm on 8 May 2004. The vehicle was unlit.

The court heard that the company was guilty of several failings:

  • inconsistency in the positioning of the traffic cones, between the hard shoulder and lane one, caused uncertainty to motorists about whether the hard shoulder should be used;
  • failure to provide detailed drawings for a change in the layout of the traffic cones, after the original plans were altered and; 
  • failure to move cones back into place after the white line between lanes one and two had been repainted.

Joy Jones, HSE Principal Inspector said: “Everyone involved in roadworks should learn from this tragedy and consider whether they are doing enough to prevent deaths and injuries. Roadworks always need to be managed with great care to ensure the safety of both construction workers and road users. There should be clear signing and a consistent use of traffic cones.

“The company should have carefully planned and co-ordinated the work of its subcontractors. A new route through the roadworks should not have been opened until the carriageway was clear of obstructions and the correct signs and cones were in place.”

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