top of page
  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Notorious criminal posts video of him abusing a roadworker after striking an ipv




Enough is enough - the time is now to stamp out abuse is industry's call following yet another incident



A notorious career criminal has caused national outcry after posting a video of himself on social media verbally abusing a roadworker after mistakenly striking an IPV parked in lane 3 of the carriageway protecting operatives deploying cones i front of it.


In the expletive laden post containing no fewer than 46 expletives including over 35 uses of the f word Sam Walker, a criminal who has gained social media notoriety by posting videos online whilst in prison also crossed the carriageway to confront the operative at the wheel of the impact protection vehicle, threatening to ‘drag him from the vehicle and punch his f**king lights out.”

The incident which is believed to have happened last Friday evening on the M40 involved a HW Martin traffic management crew who, by all accounts, were following every single piece of guidance and regulation regarding the deployment of an IPV to protect those working in the road, happened when Mr Walker’s vehicle, a BMW hit the side of a crash cushion, causing damage to his vehicle.


What followed was an inconceivable turn of events resulting in Mr Walker crossing the carriageway, threatening to pull the driver of the vehicle from his cab, all of which he broadcast live on social media.


Whilst possibly the most high profile, due to it being broadcast “live” on instagram by an individual with a sizeable social media following, the incident is not something which has happened in isolation.


Only last year a Tarmac operative working in central Sheffield was at the forefront of a nasty and unprovoked attack from a motorist who transgressed into a worksite, the end result being that the roadworker suffered multiple injuries at the hand of the perpetrator who used a machete to carry out an act of vengeance, something which several months later has resulted in the individual still being absent from work due to ongoing mental health issues.


Speaking about the incident and the ongoing issue of abuse of roadworkers Joe Docherty, the Vice Chairman of Safer Highways, an organisation set up to eliminate risk to those who work on the public highway said,


“Given the individual concerned I am grateful that the worst case outcome was a video on social media containing verbal abuse and no form of physical violence or injury to the operative involved.


“In saying that I must also add that abusing our good men and women who work on our network is unacceptable and as such this kind of incident should never happen.


“This incident was an unfortunate series of events none of which were the fault of the driver of the vehicle whom Mr Walker felt it necessary to not only berate but also publically humiliate on social media.”


Over the course of the last year, partially due to the fact that those who work on the public highway have been classed as key workers, there has been an alarming amount of abuse from members of the public. This has seen an almost 200% increase in the reporting of incidents of verbal abuse alone across both the high speed and local road networks as members of the public vent their anger at the enforced conditions we are being asked to live under; yet seeing others still go about their daily work.


However, despite a number of high profile recent incidents, the issue is not a new one as Greg Clarke, Managing Director of Quality Marking Services explained,


“I have worked my way up in my family business based in the South West of England, an area you would expect to be a sleepily backwater of the country.


“In my time as a ‘white-liner’ on the roads I have experienced a vast number of incidents, the worst of which was having a gun pulled upon me by a member of the public.


“Another incident involved a member of the public calling a regional control centre and telling them he intended to drive through a road closure - the response to which was to move out of the carriageway and let him through - and that was from the police.


“Would their reaction have been the same had the individual signalled an intent to do the same through the front of a Waitrose supermarket, endangering life?


“I suspect not so why are our people considered collateral damage to angry motorists?


“I have seen good people leave our industry due to the levels of abuse we suffer at substantial cost - both to themselves personally from a mental perspective and also organisationally as we have to recruit and retrain.”


Echoing these sentiments, Kevin Robinson, CEO of Safer Highways and one of the architects of the government backed Stamp It Out Campain said,


“Abuse of any individual going about their daily work is wholly unacceptable.


“A year ago the Department for Transport, led by the late Steve Berry and Transport Scotland under the guidance of Jonny Moran, Head of Trunk Roads, came together with Safer Highways to form a national campaign entitled “Stamp it Out” with the sole aim of making the kind of abhorrent abuse the video shows completely unacceptable.


“To those of you who “threw” hearts, effectively gratifying deplorable behaviour, I would ask you to take a long hard look in the mirror.


“How would you feel if the driver of that vehicle was your father, son, brother or nephew?


“Would you be reacting in the same way then? Would you be happy to see your son slashed with a machete in Sheffield town centre as he deployed cones or come home covered in urine or the dregs from a coffee cup or with a bruise from either a can of pop thrown from a vehicle or having had a cone strike him as a result of a truck driver who thinks it is sport to flick them up in the air causing people to scatter like ants.


“I suspect the answer to all of the above would be no - therefore why is this something, which as society we readily accept and find ourselves in a situation where those we put to work accept this as ‘part of the job’ has to stop and now.


“In society we readily use the phrase ‘be kind’ and yet this is how we treat those key workers who keeps our roads moving and during the lockdowns were the ones who ensured our supermarkets had toilet rolls and pasta.”

2,929 views0 comments

Comments


Recent Blog Posts

NEWS AND UPDATES

bottom of page