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Highways England report that on average there are nearly 300 incidents a week of incursions and abuse reported by road workers who are busy improving Britain’s 4300 miles of motorways and A roads. Thousands of road workers’ lives are being put at risk, says Highways England.
Now, Essex Police is supporting road workers by patrolling hot spot areas and attending whenever necessary.
From today, Thursday March 25, road-users will see new signs displayed at road closure sites, which will act as a reminder that police officers are in the area and will act in the event of abusive behaviour.
Samantha Wright, Road Crime Operational Co-Ordinator for Essex Police, said: “No one should have to tolerate abuse, especially when they’re simply trying to do their job.
“We’ve heard of so many instances when road-users have been verbally and/or physically abusive towards roadworkers because of frustrations around road closures. We want roadworkers to know that we want to support them to do their vital job and we will investigate and prosecute when we’re able to.
“Extra Eyes is a fantastic initiative and I ask roadworkers to always submit their body-worn footage to us if they’ve captured an incident. The team will investigate thoroughly and if Essex Police is able to prosecute, this sends out a clear message that abuse of any kind, will not be tolerated.
“I’d like to be clear however, that incidents such as physical assault should be dealt with at the scene by calling 999 immediately, rather than through the Extra Eyes portal.”
A spokesman for Essex Highways, said: “When one of our colleagues gets shouted and sworn at, threatened or even attacked, it can damage their confidence and cause longer-term problems.
Driving around cones and barriers to enter our closures to avoid driving the diversion route, puts workers and drivers lives at risk.
“Our people are there to do their job to keep our roads safe for all of us. Every single person working here is united in zero tolerance of this sort of unforgiveable behaviour.”
Read more about the Extra Eyes initiative and submit footage of poor or dangerous road-user behaviour: https://saferessexroads.org/driving-complaints-2020/