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Highways Sector mourns loss of life after TM operative killed in collision following police chase


Industry mourns loss of life after collision as a result of police chase.


The Highways Sector, today, finds itself mourning the loss of life after one of our own has been killed following a collision between a motorist and a Traffic Management vehicle which occurred during a police chase.


The victim was in a stationary traffic management vehicle when it was hit on the northbound side between junctions 14 at Stafford and 15 for Stoke-on-Trent at about 05:00 GMT, police said.

Officers had been trying to stop the Audi, Staffordshire Police added.


A 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remains in custody.


The M6 has been closed for several hours following the collision with delays of at least 60 minutes in the area, National Highways tweeted.


The man who died was in his 40s and was the only person in the traffic management vehicle, detectives said.


They said they believed the Audi had previously been involved in an incident elsewhere in the West Midlands.


The incident only serves to highlight the significant risk to those we put to work, where operatives find themselves placed in dangerous situations on a daily basis.


As an industry there has been an outpouring of both sympathy and also anger that what, many acknowledge to be a constant risk has now led to the ultimate consequence in a loss of life to one of our own.


One Safer Highways Member, who asked not to be mentioned said,


"We have known for a long time that the risk from errant motorists was always one of the biggest challenges we face.


"We put our people to work behind a row of 1 Metre high cones and expect that this will offer them adequate protection; sadly this fatality proves it does not.


"Whatever the circumstances as to why this incursion occurred were, we, as an industry really now need to look inwardly at engineering controls as to how we protect our workforce."


These sentiments were echoed by a second member company who said,


"Our sector should be ashamed… orange cones are not a safety net. Pathetic we do this to people.


"This is sad news and in 2022 it bemuses me that we don’t have safer protection to offer our workforce, my condolences and sympathy for the family and the people closest affected."


Echoing these thoughts Safer Highways CEO, Kevin Robinson said,


"As an industry I feel we now need to do something; something proactive to prevent these incidents happening again and again.


"We all attend meetings where we discuss strikes to IPV's, we saw videos last year of members of the public abusing our roadworkers but yet the best we can do is sit in meetings discussing policies and procedures.


"How in gods name will these ever give solace to the family of the individual who has tragically lost their life - in short they won't. It is time for us as an industry to step up and formulate a real plan to deal with an issue with presents a clear danger to those we put to work every day."


The risk to roadworkers has long been an issue which the sector has grappled with, however, at this time as we mourn the loss of one of our own, our duty is to support the colleagues, friends and loved ones of the deceased, as Mark Bridges, Acting Vice Chair of Safer Highways echoes in his sentiments, he said;


"This is terribly sad news and further puts into context the reality of the dangers faced by our workers. Our thoughts are with the deceased’s family, friends and work colleagues at this sad time. The Safer Highways community is here to support all those affected by this incident in ever which way we can.


"Whilst the full details surrounding this incident are not yet known, it only reinforces to me the importance of programs such as Stamp it out which is striving to create a safer environment for our industry by lobbing government to increase the sentences of those who wilfully put our people at risk."


Safer Highways extends our deepest sympathies to the family of the deceased, his work colleagues and indeed his employer.





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