Inattention and failing to comply with speed limits at work sites can have severe and long-term consequences for road workers, their families and the community.
The Traffic Management Association of Australia (TMAA) is currently running a campaign urging drivers on roads, construction sites and near emergency services to slow down to save lives.
It's a message Council’s Civil Works crews are all too familiar with through their work patching the region’s main roads on behalf of Queensland’s Transport & Main Roads department.
Civil Works labourer Lockelin Ferguson has worked at Council for around two years and said he was fully aware of the risks involved.
Like others in his crew, he has witnessed close calls and remembers a near-miss while working along Goodwood Road.
“A truck driver ignored the 40 kph speed limit and while travelling between 80 and 100 kph, his vehicle’s side-view mirror missed our traffic controller’s head by only a few centimetres,” Lockelin said.
“It’s quite common to see drivers doing more than the speed limit and most of the time it is the heavier vehicles.
“They are in more of a hurry and tend to get annoyed when they’re held up.
“All it takes is a worker to accidentally step out or trip and one of us isn’t going home to our kids.”
Lockelin said his job was high risk and there were legitimate concerns around people not doing the right thing.
“Unlike working on a computer, one mistake out here could mean a death,” he said.
“There’s no backspace button to delete an error in judgement.
“As a crew we follow our safety procedures, but what motorists do is out of our control.”
Lockelin said the relationship with their traffic controllers was very important and he appreciated the fact that they had come to know his crew well.
“They care about our safety and like mates, we know they have our backs,” he said.
Get involved in the Your Speed is Our Safety Campaign
The Traffic Management Association of Australia Executive Officer Louise Van Ristell urged everyone to take part in the Your Speed is Our Safety Campaign.
“Almost 1200 people have been killed on Australian roads in the past 12 months,” she said.
“We ask that now, more than ever, people value lives and part of this is keeping yourself and everyone else safe.
“Our Your Speed is Our Safety Campaign is a three-part series that I urge you to share with your teams, colleagues and the wider community, to spread the message that speeding can kill.”
Ms Van Ristell said the campaign, which would air on television around the country during May, September and November, brought together three advertisements which told the story of a little girl and her father.
“TMAA is proud to lead the development of the series. It highlights the high-risk nature of all roadwork activity, driving home the message to the motoring public to slow down,” she said.
“As government pushes for further infrastructure projects to drive Australia’s economy, it is important to promote the safety message.
“So, if you ‘See the Cones. Obey the Zones’ and slow down at roadworks because ‘Your Speed is our Safety’.”
For more information contact TMAA on 1300 798 772 or visit www.tmaa.asn.au
- Other stories: Road closures in Childers as upgrade begins