Tackling the Abuse of Roadworkers

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The mental and physical abuse faced by roadworkers is not acceptable. This is what we’re doing about it.

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Darren Clark

Operations Director, tbf Traffic

Every single day and night – all hours, all seasons – roadworkers are out maintaining and protecting the country’s vast network of roads.

This important job helps keep families connected and businesses growing, but road workers are facing regular verbal and physical abuse. Inexplicably, this type of abuse appears to be socially acceptable to many people. And it’s getting worse.

At tbf Traffic, we are passionate about keeping our teams safe and protected when they are out working. But despite our safeguards, our workers have been subjected to violent physical abuse. The most recent case was just earlier this month.

Roadworks are frustrating for the public at times. Everyone has somewhere they need to be in a hurry, and a hold-up on the road can be stressful. However, these works are essential.

Tragically, five people die every single day in road traffic accidents – a statistic which highlights the dangers of the roads. Roadworkers should not also have to contend with deliberate attacks, threats, and abuse from members of the public.

Even through the height of the pandemic in 2020 and early 2021, when traffic volume was significantly reduced, there was a 10% increase in reported cases of abuse towards road operatives.

At tbf Traffic, we want to be part of the movement that stops this abuse. We are introducing:

Example of posters designed by PF Cusack for use on roadwork sites
  • Body cameras for our operatives
  • Mobile CCTV on roadworks and on closures set up for longer periods
  • We are also working with our supplier, PF Cusack, to create some hard-hitting signage

Stamp It Out

We must also address this on an industry level, and we support the Stamp It Out campaign organised by Safer Highways.

Project aims include:

  • Amending the law to ensure highway workers are permanently recognised as key workers (making it a criminal act to abuse road workers in their place of employment)
  • Improving public perception of road workers
  • Making incident reporting simpler

Ultimately, the campaign hopes to make abuse of roadworkers socially and legally unacceptable.

Remember that the people you see working on the roads are parents, sons, daughters, husbands and wives. They are earning an honest and good living, working to benefit and improve the country – and they must be respected.