The number of injuries to road workers on motorways and trunk roads in England more than doubled between 2005 and 2009, a BBC Inside Out East investigation has found (BBC News).
Figures from the Highways Agency showed injuries increased from 50 in 2005 to 110 in 2009, but the number of fatalities fell from five to one.
Road workers operate behind an impact protection vehicle, designed to act as a cushion. It absorbs the impact of a crash and provides the best protection for workers.
Not only do workers often suffer abuse from impatient drivers, they also have the threat of speeding motorists to deal with. A team from BBC Inside Out filmed cars racing passed workers in a 50mph zone travelling at between 70mph and 77mph.
Atkins, contracted by the Highways Agency to carry out repairs in some areas, is introducing another device to protect its workers, using stop-go boards on smaller roads.
The boards are fitted with CCTV cameras to help bring about prosecutions for drivers who put the workforce at risk.
Ian Jobson, senior operations manager at the Highways Agency, said: "On average we have 4,000 people working on our roads.
"In an ideal world we would shut the roads, which would be the safest way of doing it. But we cannot operate like that, particularly in this country, the traffic has to go somewhere, we can’t shut the country down.
"So we have to have a compromise, but we need to make it as safe as possible."
Click here to read the full BBC News report.