Theme two for National Motorway Month was roadworker respect, since despite roadworkers providing an essential service for the public they receive abuse from motorists whilst doing so.
A survey, conducted with roadworkers employed by Amey and BEAR Scotland, revealed that 81% had been verbally or phsically abused by motorists, 40% of which was experienced on either a daily or a weekly basis. The fact that a third of this abuse was reported to involve acts of ‘extreme aggression’, including having food and bottles hurled at them, is particularly distressing.
In the past year, twio roadworkers were killed and nineteen were seriously injured whilst working on England’s roads. Such unacceptable figures are a clear indication that a radical change in motorists’ attitudes is required, in order to put an end to this unprovoked hostility.
Edmund King, Executive Director for the RAC Foundation said:
“In the summer, motorists can become especially irritated with delays on the roads, since thet are eager to reach their holiday destination. There is no excuse for attacking roadworkers or driving wrecklessly through road works in an attempt to speed up the journey. Ironically- speeding through roadworks leads to accidents and hence further delays”.
“The RAC Foundation would urge holidaymakers to plan ahead this summer, leaving ample time to get to their destination in order to account for delays caused both by roadworks and increased traffic flows. It is essential that ‘back- seat drivers’ do not put pressure on their driver to up the pace- when there is clearly no option to do so.”
Drivers approaching road works are advised to:
- Keep within the speed limit- it is there for your safety.
- Get into the correct lane in good time- don’t keep switching.
- Concentrate on the road ahead, not the roadworks.
- Be alert for works traffic leaving or entering roadworks.
- Keep a safe distance- there could be queues in front.
- Observe all signs- they are there to help you.