Drivers in Staffordshire are being reminded to be respectful to highways workers carrying out maintenance on the roads.
The reminder from Staffordshire County Council and Amey follows an increase in the number of incidents where drivers actions have put crews safety at risk.
Over 500 incidents have been recorded over the last 12 months. These included incidents where drivers ignored signs and cones, drove through road closures, carried out dangerous manoeuvres and mounted pavements to squeeze past roadworks.
In other cases, vehicles were observed not stopping for traffic lights and general anti social behaviour and verbal abuse towards highways operatives.
In one incident caught on webcam and reported to Staffordshire Police, a driver mounted a public footpath to get past a gulley emptier and almost collided with the worker. This incident has resulted in a formal warning being issued to the driver and is being used to remind others that action can and will be taken in such situations.
David Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council said: “Our highways workers have an important job to do in keeping our roads running and maintained. They work in all weather, often in very challenging conditions and they have the right to be safe when going about their work.
“It is unacceptable that some members of the public choose to behave in this way and put workers lives at risk just because they can’t be bothered to wait for traffic lights to change or work to be completed.
“We know it’s only a small number of people who choose to behave this way, but we want to let people know we won’t stand for it.”
Richard Harris, Account Director for Amey said: “We are seeing an increase in incidents where the safety of our Highways Operatives is being placed at risk. Poor driving behaviour on Staffordshire roads will not be tolerated and appropriate action can and will be taken against motorists whose driving behaviour can be called into question.
“Our Highways Operatives work in a dangerous environment, often on fast roads where traffic flow is significant. We would urge all drivers to exercise caution and patience when driving through roadworks.”
Staffordshire Police have issued a number of warnings to motorists following dash camera footage provided by highways crews.
Inspector Mark Joynson, of Staffordshire Police’s road policing team, said: “Highways workers should be able to do their essential maintenance and repair work on our roads without fear of being verbally abused or sustaining injury through dangerous driving.
“We urge drivers to be patient and safe, when driving through road works, in order to protect themselves and others from harm. We will take robust action against any person found to be abusing Highway workers or driving in a dangerous manner on our roads.”