Caught on camera – drivers who put workmen’s lives at risk

Highways chiefs are employing a high-tech approach to target motorists who put the lives of roads crews in danger.

Workmen in East Sussex have been equipped with helmet-mounted cameras to capture footage of drivers who speed through roadworks, drive in an anti-social manner or abuse staff.

Evidence captured by the devices will be passed to Sussex Police as part of Operation Crackdown, a multi-agency scheme which allows the public to report errant drivers.

Meanwhile, signs will be displayed at roadworks being carried out by East Sussex Highways, a partnership between East Sussex County Council and contractors Kier, warning that inconsiderate drivers could be reported to the police.

Cllr Carl Maynard, county council lead member for transport and environment, said: “Our highways crews work in all weathers to keep the county’s roads in a good state of repair, and they are entitled to expect drivers to be mindful of their safety.

“The vast majority of motorists do respect the law, and our crews, by slowing down their speed and driving considerately through roadworks, but a small minority continue to put their own safety, and those of workers, at risk.

“We hope the warning signs, and the realisation that bad driving could be captured on camera and details passed to the police, will encourage the inconsiderate few to moderate their driving.”

Launched in 2007, Operation Crackdown is a joint initiative between Sussex Police, local councils and the fire service, which now receives more than 1,000 reports every month.

The public can submit details of incidences of anti-social motoring such as speeding, driving while using a mobile phone and dangerous driving, and of abandoned vehicles.

Inspector Phil Nicholas, from Sussex Police, said: “Operation Crackdown has been very successful in allowing motorists who endanger other road users to be warned about their conduct, and if appropriate, for further action to be taken.

“Highways crews are particularly vulnerable because of the nature of their work and it’s important drivers reduce their speed and drive carefully where roadworks are being carried out.”

Reports can be submitted online via the Operation Crackdown website.