NEWS: Road workers at risk from ‘selfish drivers’

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Highways England is calling on drivers to respect road workers after new analysis revealed a catalogue of serious incidents and near misses on Britain’s roads.

Incidents ranging from motorists driving into coned off areas to physical and verbal abuse, have sent reports shoot up recently to 300 incidents a week, says the government body charged with maintaining the roads.

Of almost 3,500 incidents recorded between July 2017 and September 2017, 150 were serious, leading to four road workers and two motorists being injured.

To raise awareness of the risks and remind road users to be safe, Highways England has released new video footage. Footage shows a reckless motorist mounting the pavement and placing road workers’ lives at risk, while another incident captured on video shows a lorry driving through coned off roadworks on the M1.

There were 150 serious incidents involving workers between July and September last year. Photograph: iStock

Mike Wilson, executive director of safety, engineering and standards at Highways England said: “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.

“Drivers who selfishly and illegally ignore these traffic restrictions to 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.”

Highways England is reminding motorists to take care with three key messages:

  • Slow down near road works and obey speed limits and signs
  • Be vigilant when operations take place at night, or when visibility is restricted by works vehicles
  • Think what it would be like if you had to contend with lorries and cars driving through your place of work.

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