Research by Highways England has revealed a catalogue of serious incidents and near misses ranging from motorists driving into coned off areas to physical and verbal abuse.
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 now calling on road users to be patient if they are delayed by roadworks and to respect road workers doing a difficult job.
The video below shows the unacceptable behaviours that workers are faced with every day.
In it, a driver 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.
His actions jeopardised the lives of all those road workers on this stretch of road between Braintree and the A12 at Marks Tey.
Another incident captured on video shows a lorry driving through coned off roadworks on the M1.
Adie Whiting, 33, a married father of three from Doncaster, 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.”
Road worker abuse often occurs during incursions, whereby drivers seek to ignore a road closure to drive through instead, often failing to heed advance warning signs of upcoming closures.
Highways England is reminding motorists of their responsibility while driving through roadworks, 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.