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Campaign urges motorists to slow down for road workers

A NEW campaign that focuses attention on the safety of roadside workers has been launched by the Tasmanian Government.

The “Your Speed is our Safety – Slow Down for Road Workers” campaign aims to raise motorists’ awareness of safety risks for workers at road works, and to improve driver behaviour – in particular, to improve compliance with posted speed limits.

Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding said the campaign would help remind motorists to stay alert and comply with all traffic management at work sites.

“Our road workers have the right to go home at the end of the work day just like everyone else,” he said.

The campaign includes television and radio advertising, and a range of signage and printed material.

It will run over two years during the peak construction season.

RACT chief executive officer Harvey Lennon welcomed the campaign, saying it would reinforce that road safety “is everyone’s responsibility.”

Mr Lennon said motor vehicle drivers and passengers, motorcyclists and cyclists were often “top of mind” for the community whenever road safety was discussed.

“But workers on nearby public roads performing construction, roadwork or vehicle breakdown activities need to be included in these conversations,” he said.

Mr Lennon said working at the roadside was inherently dangerous.

“Educating the motoring public about the risks all road workers face on a daily basis through inattention and speeding through work sites was important,” he said.

Mr Lennon said RACT’s Roadside patrolmen and contractors were provided with extensive and regular workplace health and safety training, but they could not control what goes on around them.

“Over the past two years we have had five reported near-misses where patrols or contractors have been put in danger, as well as RACT members at the breakdown scene, while working at the roadside by inattentive or careless drivers,” he said.

“The near-misses are generally more serious in nature where a motorist passed so close to the breakdown scene (at speed) they either caused damage to the patrol van or tow truck or the incident left the patrolman or contractor shaken.”

The Your Speed is our Safety – Slow Down for Road Workers campaign is a partnership between the Department of State Growth, the civil construction industry and the Road Safety Advisory Council, and has been developed with assistance from the Traffic Management Association of Australia.