Every year there are hundreds of incursions into roadworks which put road workers lives at risk and lead to deaths and serious injury - this has spurred one local authority to act.
A campaign which has its focus on the lack of awareness of some drivers that roadworks are a place of work for thousands of people and that all of us have a right to expect a safe working environment, is now being put in place by Mayo County Council, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and an Garda Siochana.
Two high definition CCTV cameras have been installed at a location on the upgrade of the N60 at Lagnamuck, Balla, in a bid to crackdown on motorists breaking traffic lights and speeding through the road works site.
Mayo County Council, working with P & D Lydon Civil Engineering contractors and An Garda Siochana, have installed a new CCTV system at this site to assist Gardai in identifying and apprehending offenders. The Gardai also have a presence at the roadworks site to monitor driver behaviour and to enforce the lower road works speed limit.
Under the scheme, the footage has been fed back to Gardai who will review it and then issue fixed charge penalty notices to any drivers found to be speeding or breaking the traffic lights.Initially there were over 200 motorists breaking the red lights at the roadworks, this has improved since the cameras have been installed and the presence of the Gardai. Some of the footage, which shows cars putting themselves and others in danger, has been posted on social media ().
It is envisaged that this scheme will be introduced to other road work schemes also where there are similar issues.
Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer with Mayo County Council, said: "For some reason a small minority of drivers still find it acceptable to put road workers lives in danger by not taking care when they go through roadworks.
"This campaign is about reminding road users that roadworks are like any other workplace, and our workers have just as much right to work in a safe environment. The message is clear ‘A line of cones won’t stop a speeding car but you can!’ We know you want to get home but so do our workers - see the cones obey the zones.”
Mr Kevin Gatley, Superintendent, An Garda Siochana, added; "Improving safety at roadworks takes real collaboration across all agencies and I am delighted that we have come together to jointly support this campaign.
"It epitomises the spirit of co-operation that exists in our county on this important issue as we continue our work to ensure that nobody comes to harm as a result of working on or using our roads. We will be following up on the footage of motorists jumping the traffic lights."