An advertising campaign aimed at protecting people who have to work in the road during their day-to-day jobs has been launched.
‘Slow down for road workers’ is being promoted by the Isle of Man Government through its involvement with a multi-agency forum that helps co-ordinate construction, maintenance and repairs for a range of services.
Chaired by the Department of Infrastructure, the forum includes representation from Manx Utilities, Manx Telecom, Sure, Isle of Man Energy and Douglas City Council.
The campaign’s message is a simple one and aims to make motorists mindful of their speed when approaching or driving through road works. To help reinforce the message, the images feature staff from across the different organisations who have stepped forward to support the campaign.
An increasing number of reports of inconsiderate and even aggressive driving have been recorded by the agencies and has prompted the campaign to raise awareness of the risks staff face through a unified approach.
Gary Saunders, Head of Project Delivery with the Department of Infrastructure, said:
‘This campaign has the unanimous support of all the agencies involved with the forum and recognises the danger workers face as part of their job. What we are trying to achieve is greater understanding from the travelling public and to raise awareness around the risks involved.
‘Whether it’s digging a hole, reconstructing the road, maintaining or repairing vital infrastructure – our community benefits from the work that’s being undertaken. So while it takes place, we’re asking road users to take extra care and think about the people that are being put at risk – they are members of our community with families who expect them to come home unharmed.’
Infrastructure Minister and Manx Utilities chairman Tim Crookall MHK said:
‘This multi-agency forum does a lot of excellent work for our community in terms of planning and co-ordination, which will go unnoticed by most of us as we go about our daily business. It is their staff who are the people on the ground and put themselves in danger every time they work in or near a road — and this is unavoidable in the work they do.
‘All the organisations involved record accounts of near-misses as part of their health and safety regime and sharing these examples has led to the campaign which we are proud to launch on their behalf today.’
Manx Telecom Chief Technology Officer Hugo Van Zyl said:
‘Ensuring the safety of our dedicated team of fibre engineers as they work tirelessly on the Island-wide rollout is our top priority. Together with the Department of Infrastructure, we're taking proactive measures to protect our workers and guarantee their well-being. Now, we call upon the public to join us in ensuring that our team returns home safely to their loved ones after a hard day's work.’
Iain Jackson, Assistant Chief Officer (Environment) for Douglas Council, said:
‘Many road workers experience near misses on a daily basis. By going too fast and not paying attention to their surroundings, drivers are putting the road workers who are making our roads safer, at risk.
‘Our message is please make sure you slow down and drive under the designated speed limit at roadworks, look out for road workers and obey signals from traffic controllers.
‘Traffic controls are put in place for everyone’s safety. At major roadwork sites, the road layout and temporary surfaces can change regularly, so it’s critical that motorists drive at a safe speed.’