The campaign entitled ‘My daddy works here' features photos of children appealing to motorists to drive with care. They are being used on signs behind the safety barriers to remind workers of the importance of safety, and motorists are also being urged to think about the people behind the cones when they drive through the roadworks. The campaign is been supported by various local authorities across Ireland in a bid to make road works a safer place to work.
It's a very simple yet powerful traffic safety message that appeals to our basic humanity; making the workers behind the barriers instantly more like people that we can relate to, with families who care for them.
It almost puts you in their place: what if it were you working there on the road - what would happen to your family and how would your family feel if something were to happen to you there? It plays on very basic fears and emotions and is a situation that none of us would want to find ourselves in. A clever, yet subtle, road safety campaign.
Yes, the cynics might say that it is yet another sign that causes an unnecessary distraction; but on roadworks, where excessive speed and reckless driving can cause horrific accidents and threaten the lives of both road users and workers, anything that makes drivers think that little bit more about taking extra care and being more aware of road safety and traffic safety issues should be applauded.
Of course, only time will tell if it has any effect.
"As warm weather arrives, road works become increasingly familiar sights along Irish roads," Noel Gibbons road safety officer in Co. Mayo said. "But we should not let familiarity become complacency. Even though many of us will be driving through road works every day, we should continue to keep our eyes wide open and obey the posted rules of the road. Lives depend upon it."
"As visitors to our Country and its residents alike should recognise, a road works area is the local authority doing its job.
Road works is not an inconvenience. It's not a hassle," explained Mr Declan Keogh Kildare road safety officer "road works is state funds at work repairing roads, performing maintenance, reconfiguring roads for safety, and striving to improve the Countries transportation network in general.
Road works is moms and dads and sons and daughters putting their lives on the line to serve the public interest."
Recognising the importance of traffic safety education, local authorities are launching this campaign.
"The men and women working in road construction zones are making travel smoother and safer for drivers and everyone who uses our roadways," says Declan Keogh road safety officer Co. Kildare "By slowing down, observing posted advisories and watching for changing driving conditions, motorists can keep themselves, their passengers and roadway construction safe in work zones."
Although road workers are often among the victims of such crashes, it's important for drivers to understand that victims of road works crashes are actually often drivers or their passengers. Generally, crashes occur when drivers speed through road works or do not pay attention to the changing road conditions and run into other vehicles, road making equipment or safety barriers, or drive off the roadway completely.
The primary causes of work zone crashes are following too closely and inattentive driving and you should never jump or ignore traffic lights at road works.
Emphasising the importance of maintaining a safe distance between vehicles within road works : "When traveling through road works, drivers must pay extra attention to changing traffic patterns, look for slow moving equipment and be able to react on a moment's notice to stopped or slowing traffic. Rear-end crashes accounted for a high percent of all road works crashes. Most rear-end crashes occur when following too closely. This is why speeding through work zones is not tolerated. Any traffic infractions within this zone such as speeding, unsafe lane changes, disregarding traffic control devices or reckless driving are subject to fines."
"There is a reason why the speed limit is dropped markedly at road works. A person struck by a vehicle traveling at 30 k.p.h. has a 5 percent chance of dying of their injuries. If the vehicle is traveling at 50 k.p.h., the fatality rate jumps to approximately 40 percent, and then to 80 percent when a vehicle is traveling at 60 k.p.h. Nearly 100 percent of patients will die if they are struck by a vehicle traveling at speeds greater than 80 k.p.h. It is so important to slow down and pay attention in these areas. The best treatment for trauma is prevention."
"Workers put themselves in harm's way to help the rest of us by building and maintaining the roads and bridges that get us where we need to go as safely as possible,"
"When it comes to keeping highway workers and drivers safe, we're all in this together. While local authorities requires its employees to get regular road works safety training, our workers want to remind drivers of potential upcoming hazards within work zones. We ask motorists to slow down when they approach and travel through a work zone and pay close attention to the signing and channelisation devices. Help keep us safe, to keep you safe."
Some simple tips for improving road works safety include:
- * When you see the "orange and black," be extra cautious.
- * Warning signs will let you know what to expect.
- * Barrels or cones will delineate your path of travel.
- * Flag persons will help direct you along the way.
- * Avoid distractions.
- * Don't tailgate.
- * Don't change lanes.
- * Slow down and expect the unexpected.
- · Obey traffic lights