HIGHWAYS chiefs today (Friday, January 25) reminded motorists of the dangers faced by road workers carrying out vital improvements and maintenance on motorways and major routes throughout the North-East and North Yorkshire.

The Highways Agency and contractor Aone+ (CORRECT), are urging drivers to take extra care at roadworks in a bid to cut deaths and injuries.

Speaking at an event at the Aone+ depot in Gateshead, Highways Agency chief executive Graham Dalton said: “Pause for a moment to think about your own workplace, and then imagine what it would be like with heavy lorries thundering through at more than 60mph, and drivers who think they know better than to keep within the speed limit.

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“Road workers deserve respect in their workplace, and it is vital that road users show them consideration by keeping within the speed limit and driving safely.

“Any death or injury is one too many and we would like to send a clear message to drivers: do not risk lives and wreck families for the sake of a few seconds saved on a journey.”

Some of the innovative techniques and equipment in use in the region to keep the workforce safe were on display.

They include “intelligent cones” which can warn road workers when vehicles accidently enter work areas, high-level signs to provide more visible messages to motorists approaching roadworks, and new sign layouts.

Aone+ managing director Andy Jamieson said: “We use feedback from our workforce to identify innovative methods of working, along with the continuous refinement of our equipment, in order to enhance safety for our road workers.”

In the last three years eight people have been killed while improving and maintaining the strategic road network in England.