Road workers vests 'day-glow not bullet-proof'

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 12:21 11/07/2014

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At least one person a week loses their licence when they don't obey temporary speed signs in Marlborough, police say.

Marlborough highway patrol team leader Sergeant Barrie Greenall said too many drivers were speeding through road works and ignoring the signs.

Drivers going more than 40kmh over a permanent speed limit, or 50kmh over a temporary speed limit faced a 28-day licence suspension.

On average, at least one person a week had their licence suspended for driving too fast in a temporary low-speed area, Greenall said.

Fines ranged between $30 for driving more than 10kmh over the speed limit, to $630 for driving more than 50kmh over the limit.

Anyone caught driving more than 50kmh over the limit is required to appear in court.

About six people a month ended up in court after being busted driving more than 50kmh over the limit on Marlborough roads, Greenall said.

Police had a good relationship with roading contractors, who informed them if too many drivers were flouting the rules, he said. "If we are contacted, we step up enforcement in that area and focus on the problem."

Contractors often took down registration numbers and reported them to police if the driver blatantly ignored the speed limit or failed to stop when requested, he said.

Speed signs were put up not only to ensure the safety of the workers, but also to protect the work they were doing.

"It's very, very frustrating, because even at 10pm at night when no one is around, the speed limits are there for a reason," he said. "People going too fast are damaging the work done by the contractors, which just prolongs that work as well as the speed restrictions. The guys basically have to start over again."

People who regularly drove through the road works were also at risk, as they assumed they knew the area well and didn't take into account the situation changed daily, Greenall said.

People needed to realise they were driving through someone's work environment, he said.

No contractor could be totally alert for eight to 10 hours a day. "They shouldn't have to look over their shoulder all day to make sure they're safe," he said.

"They wear day-glow vests, not bullet proof vests."

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- The Manawatu Standard

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