Road workers to wear body-worn cameras amid rise in abuse
PUBLISHED: 15:25 09 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:30 09 April 2019
Deputy leader of Essex County Council is supporting the introduction of body-worn video cameras for Essex Highways staff following increasing abuse from drivers and members of the public.
Essex County Council say incidents are recorded almost daily, not only of threats and abuse, but of impatient drivers ignoring temporary traffic lights and cones, and driving through active roadworks at speed, putting workers in danger.
In Audley End, a delivery driver drove on to the pavement to get around cones, signs and barriers to get though a road closure instead of following the diversion signs.
Last year, Highways England, who run the motorways and the A12 and A120 in Essex, reported 300 incidents of abuse per week and 3,500 “incursions” – vehicles breaking the law and endangering staff by driving through roadworks. There were 150 serious incidents, with four workers injured.
Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council and cabinet member for infrastructure, said: “It is very important that those who work on our roads feel both safe and respected. They do a valuable job both building and maintaining our transport network to ensure we can all get from A to B.
“They certainly do not deserve to be subjected to threatening behaviour from members of the public - instances of which continue to happen.
“This is why I am supporting the introduction of CCTV, body-worn video cameras to ensure that anyone abusing our colleagues for simply doing their job will be prosecuted.
“If you witness any of our road workers being subjected to threatening behaviour, please report it to Essex Police on 101. If you have dashcam or mobile phone film, you can also pass a copy of it on to the police through the Extra Eyes website.”
Essex County Council and Essex Highways are asking members of the public to respect road workers, slow down near road works and obey speed limits and signs.