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10 April 2013, 06:00 | Updated: 10 April 2013, 11:29
The highways agency is urging drivers to take extra care and obey speed limits at roadworks through Devon and Cornwall, to prevent deaths and injuries among both road users and road workers
Eight road workers have been killed in the last three years while improving and maintaining the strategic road network in England.
In addition there are many near misses, with members of the public driving through coned off areas or colliding with works vehicles.
During a major operation to recover an overturned petrol tanker on the A38 at Tideford, near Saltash, a number of motorists got out of their vehicles to remove cones and temporary road closed signs and drove through the closed section of road. Drivers have also been seen driving through the A38 Glynn Valley when the road is closed for essential maintenance work.
The government is investing additional funding in road improvements across the county to reduce congestion, boost growth and improve safety. Over the next two years so this will mean more roadworks.
There are up to 50 road workers on live carriageways on the A30 and A38 in Devon and Cornwall on any average day, as well as traffic officers officers and other road operatives, often just a very short distance from traffic travelling at high speed.
Derek Turner, Director of Network Delivery and Development for the Highways Agency, said:
“Road workers do a difficult and dangerous job carrying out vital work to keep our roads safe and well-maintained. But they face danger every day while working close to fast moving traffic, in all weather conditions, and often at night. Speed limits, cones, and narrow lanes are there to keep road users safe, as well as provide a safe area for workers – often enabling us to keep roads open while essential work takes place. These measures smooth out the flow of traffic, give drivers more warning of hazards and reduce the risk of collisions involving road users and workers.”
To reduce the risk of incidents, drivers approaching roadworks are asked to: