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DRIVER AND ROAD WORKER SAFETY

Highways Agency urges drivers to “Respect Our Road Workers”

The Highways Agency (HA) is reminding drivers to take extra care when driving through roadworks both for their own safety and that of thousands of workers who maintain our roads.

Eleven roadworkers were killed and 104 seriously injured between 2003 and 2008 while working on motorways and major A roads in England.

Campaign looks to raise driver awareness

HA staff along with representatives of Police Forces, County Council Road Safety Teams and the HA contractors are on the road meeting drivers and talking to members of the public at various locations across the UK.

Drivers have the chance to see traffic management vehicles close up including Crash Cushions placed at the start of a lane closure and Incident Support Unit vehicles used to clear the carriageway following an accident.

Reduced speed is a critical factor

Peter Smith, the HA Manager responsible for the M11 near Cambridge, said:“Roadworkers work in a dangerous environment and deserve respect and consideration from drivers.

Driving through half a mile of roadworks at 70mph takes just ten seconds less than at 50mph – a ten second saving which can put lives at risk.

Speed restrictions, cones, barriers, signs are there for a reason – to protect our workers from danger and to keep road users safe. I urge all drivers to obey speed restrictions and pay close attention to safety when driving through roadworks.”

In Autumn 2008, the HA launched a DVD called ‘Respect’, highlighting why drivers need to have respect for road workers and a greater appreciation of the consequences their actions could have.

What drivers can do to improve safety at roadworks

The industry – including the HA – also has a major part to play, and the Agency has provided two mobile training vehicles, for employers to help keep their staff up to date with the latest safe working practices.

For the safety of road workers and all road users HA advices that when approaching roadworks drivers should:

  • Keep within the speed limit – it is there for your safety.
  • Get into the correct lane in good time – don’t keep switching.
  • Concentrate on the road ahead, not the roadworks.
  • Be alert for works’ traffic leaving or entering roadworks.
  • Keep a safe distance – there could be queues in front.
  • Observe all signs – they are there to help you.

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