Motorists urged to beware at road works

MOTORISTS have been urged to give respect and consideration to road workers along road work routes in North Antrim.

That’s the appeal to the driving public from the Quarry Products Association NI following a number of recent incidents that saw road workers hospitalised after being struck by vehicles driven by members of the public who refused to stop and drove through a road closure.

The QPANI are appealing to motorists to show care and consideration when driving close to or through road works. Traffic signs and cones are set out to industry codes of practice but that they only offer minimal protection to the workers without the co-operation and care of the travelling public In Northern Ireland we need to do more to protect our Road Workers. Road operatives work close to live traffic that is too often passing at excessive speed. We, as a society, expect them to work unsociable hours often in poor weather conditions and light...

The risk of death or injury at work, faced daily by the workers who maintain Northern Ireland’s roads, is highlighted by the results of a recent national industry survey. Almost one in five workers suffer some injury caused by passing vehicles in the course of their careers while working on our road network.

More than three-quarters suffer verbal abuse from drivers, and many have reported having objects thrown at them by motorists. Road workers were asked if they had experienced: deliberate throwing of missiles, near miss, verbal abuse, slight personal injury caused by road user’s vehicle (eg bruising), major personal injury caused by road user’s vehicle (eg broken bones). The responses were:

13% of roadworkers surveyed had sustained slight injuries;

3% had sustained major injuries;

77% had suffered verbal abuse from passing drivers

54% had a near miss with a vehicle

40% had experienced missiles deliberately thrown at them

Road workers felt most at risk during the morning and evening peak travel periods and in the early hours of the morning.

The industry would make this appeal to all drivers

“ Please drive safely through road works, would you be more or less likely to restrict your speed and show respect to workers if you knew a family member was working behind those cones”

During the last two years issued more than 1,100 fixed penalties to road users breaching temporary speed limits, which carry a £60 fine and three penalty points, have been issued.