Belfast Telegraph

Appalling toll of car injuries at roadworks

By Linda Stewart

Almost one in every five road workers has been injured by vehicles passing through roadworks.

And 3% have suffered serious injuries, while four in 10 have had missiles deliberately thrown at them by motorists.

The shocking figures have emerged following a series of incidents across Northern Ireland in which road workers were hospitalised by drivers speeding through road closures after refusing to stop.

Road workers are appealing to members of the public to show care and consideration when driving through roadworks.

On Sunday night the Quarry Products Association of Northern Ireland (QPANI) joined forces with the PSNI and Road Service to warn drivers that we need to do more to protect our road workers.

“Traffic signs and cones only offer minimal protection to the workers without the co-operation and care of the travelling public In Northern Ireland,” a QPANI spokesman said. “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.

“The risk of death or injury faced daily by workers is highlighted by the results of a recent national survey. Almost one in five workers suffer some injury caused by passing vehicles while working on our roads.

“More than three-quarters suffer verbal abuse from drivers and many have reported having objects thrown at them.”

The survey revealed that 13% surveyed had sustained slight injuries and 3% had suffered major injuries. A total of 77% had received verbal abuse from passing drivers and 54% had a near miss with a vehicle. Some 40% have had missiles deliberately thrown at them.

Road workers felt most at risk during the rush hours and in the early hours of the morning.

PSNI Inspector Rosie Leech warned that breaches of temporary speed limits are treated in the same way as other speed limits.

“Breaking temporary speed limits though roadworks, particularly where contractors are working, is incredibly dangerous and will not be tolerated. Please follow all directions and instructions at road works. It could save your life as well as someone else’s.”

Factfile

Driving safely through roadworks

1. Look out for road workers — they may not be visible.

2. Slow down — speed limits apply at all times.

3. Follow roadworkers' instructions — they keep you safe from harm.

4. Obey all signs, it's the law.

5. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, traffic barriers, construction equipment and roadworkers.

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