Do you slow down when there are road works around? Have you ever seen someone whizz through them as though there’s nothing out of the ordinary going on?
The Highways Agency launched a national awareness campaign at the end of October to encourage drivers to slow down and take proper care in road works.
The campaign kicked off on October 21 and ran into early November, with a countrywide radio advert requesting drivers hit the brake pedal in areas where road works are being carried out.
After one Highways Agency employee was killed, 17 seriously injured and 27 wounded in 2012-13, the campaign was launched to provide greater protection for construction workers, project managers and traffic officers.
Dangerous working conditions
Wayne Norris, who leads on road worker safety in the Midlands for the Agency, said:
“We are committed to eliminating all fatalities, serious injuries and long-term ill health to road workers maintaining our roads.
“Road workers do a difficult and dangerous job carrying out vital work to keep our roads safe and well-maintained. But they face danger every day while working close to fast moving traffic, in all weather conditions, and often at night.
“We realise road works can be frustrating, but we urge everyone to ask themselves if it’s really worth risking their own and other people’s lives just to save a few minutes on their journey.”
An uphill struggle
This is an ongoing battle, with the Highways Agency requesting back in April that all drivers approaching road works:
- keep within the speed limit;
- not switch lanes;
- look at the road ahead and not the works;
- watch out for works traffic leaving or entering site;
- keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front;
- observe and comply with the signs and be alert for road workers, remembering that “the roads are their workplace”.
Eight road workers have been fatally injured in the last three years and many near misses have been reported – and many have undoubtedly gone unreported as well.
Motorists driving through coned off areas and colliding with works vehicles are being blamed for the high injury rate.
If you have been involved in a workplace accident that was not your fault, and blame or negligence can be proved to lie elsewhere, we can pursue an accident at work claim on your behalf.