Highways England has released video footage of a reckless motorist mounting the pavement and putting workers lives at risk.
On average there are nearly 300 incidents a week of incursions and abuse reported by road workers who are busy improving England's 4,300 miles of motorways and strategic A roads for the benefit of all road users.
Mike Wilson (pictured), Highways England’s chief highways engineer, executive director safety, engineering and standards, 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 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.”
And of almost 3500 incidents recorded between July 2017 until September 2017, 150 were serious, leading to four road workers and two motorists being injured.
Highways England is urging road users to be patient when delayed by roadworks and to respect those carrying out the difficult job of maintaining roads.
The video shows a driver that has been stopped at the site of road works on the A120 in Essex, involving two barriers in place for drivers to be allowed through with an escort.
The irresponsible driver had already driven around the initial closure point on the wrong side of the road, then drove at speed to attempt to avoid Essex Police who were supporting Highways England in enforcing the closure.
Another incident captured on video shows a lorry driving through coned off roadworks on the M1.
Adie Whiting has worked for Interserve on behalf of Highways England as a traffic control safety officer, deploying cones, signs, barriers and temporary traffic signals. He said:
“I’ve been sworn at a lot, physically threatened on occasions and even had someone try to run me over once. You have to have a thick skin doing this job.”
Highways England is reminding motorists of their responsibility with these four key messages:
- Respect our road workers – slow down near road works and obey speed limits and signs.
- Just because workers aren’t visible, it doesn’t mean they are not present. This is especially true when operations take place at night, but also applies when visibility is restricted by works vehicles and equipment.
- We plan maintenance and improvement projects to allow works to proceed in the safest and most cost-effective way, with minimum disruption to road users.
- Think what it would be like if you had to contend with lorries and cars driving through your place of work.