The Highways Agency and their contractor Aone+ are urging drivers to take extra care at roadworks in a bid to cut deaths and injuries of roadworkers.
Speaking at an event at the Aone+ depot in Gateshead, Highways Agency Chief Executive Graham Dalton said: “Pause for a moment to think about your own workplace, and then imagine what it would be like with heavy lorries thundering through at more than 60mph, and drivers who think they know better than to keep within the speed limit.
“Road workers deserve respect in their workplace, and it is vital that road users show them consideration by keeping within the speed limit and driving safely.
“Any death or injury is one too many and we would like to send a clear message to drivers: do not risk lives and wreck families for the sake of a few seconds saved on a journey.”
Some of the innovative techniques and equipment being used in the region to keep the workforce safe were on display at the event, including intelligent cones which can warn road workers when vehicles accidently enter work areas, high level signs to provide more visible messages to motorists approaching roadworks, and new sign layouts to reduce the number of carriageway crossings made by road workers.
These innovative techniques are all aimed at making the Strategic Road Network a safer place for road workers who frequently work in close proximity to high speed traffic, often at night when passing drivers are likely to be tired or losing concentration, and out in all weathers.
Aone+ Managing Director Andy Jamieson said: “A-one+ have Roadworker Safety as their number one priority. At all times, everyone who comes to work on our network has the right to be safe and to go home without fear of injury or harm from working in this most challenging of environments.
“We use feedback from our workforce to identify innovative methods of working, along with the continuous refinement of our equipment, in order to enhance safety for our road workers.”
In the last three years eight people have been killed while improving and maintaining the strategic road network in England. It is clear from our contractors’ reports on near misses that the risk to the workforce remains, with road workers reporting cases of members of the public driving through coned off areas or colliding with works vehicles.