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Roadworkers at Risk

1st of November 2022, 6:00am to 1st of April 2023, 11:59pm

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Road maintenance company takes action to capture evidence of dangerous driving near worksites.

Road maintenance teams are vital to keeping Scotland’s roads usable and safe for all drivers, however the men and women who work on our roads are being put at serious risk by drivers who disregard roadworks signage and signalling.

In the last 12 months, BEAR Scotland, which maintains trunk roads in North West and South East Scotland, has recorded 18 cases of unauthorised vehicles driving into its work sites, sometimes at speed. These incursions, as they are officially called, put road workers at risk of injury or death while they do their job.

Of the 18 separate cases of incursions into worksites, 12 were reported to police and several people were charged, including a drunk driver and a driver that tested positive for cocaine. Two serious injuries resulted from incursions.

A 2022 BEAR Scotland roadworker survey highlights the potential scale of the problem:

76% of workers have seen vehicles jump red lights at works areas
61% have seen vehicles enter coned off work site areas
57% have witnessed a near-miss when an unauthorised vehicle has entered an on-site working area
56% have seen collisions with traffic management equipment
13% have had objects thrown at them from moving vehicles

Duncan Crilley, operations supervisor at BEAR Scotland, says: “You see it every day –people jumping lights. Drivers racing through convoy set-ups, cones, and barriers. People should respect roadworkers. They are only doing their job. I feel relieved when my team come in and nothing has happened, they are heading home to their families. That is what drivers need to remember: drive past roadworkers as if they are your family – they are someone’s family.”

BEAR Scotland has put various systems in place to minimise the risk to its on-site teams, including CCTV, dashcams and bodycams. However, public awareness is the key to minimising the day-to-day risk to road maintenance workers.

Sandra Wilson, health, safety, and risk manager at BEAR Scotland, explains: “It is everyone’s right to come home from work uninjured. Every day our road working teams rely on drivers making good choices. One risk can put numerous lives in danger, including that of the driver and their passengers.

“In a bid to minimise our team’s risks, we have implemented the use of the latest technology. Our on-site teams now have a variety of CCTV vehicles, dashcams, bodycams and incursion alarms to help protect them. This also allows us to provide police with evidence where necessary. We hope that, if the public is increasingly aware these measures are in place, it will deter them from taking risks around roadworks and playing Russian roulette with workers’ lives.”

See BEAR Scotland’s YouTube video on Roadworker Safety: Incursions here: https://youtu.be/x8AV0vbFLDs.

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