ROADWORKERS in Scotland say their lives are being put at risk by dangerous drivers.

A survey found that in the last year 70% of trunk road workers reported their lives had either been put at risk by motorists’ dangerous driving or they had been verbally or physically abused.

The research, in which 400 employees were questioned, was carried out by Bear Scotland, Scotland TranServ and Amey as part of a week-long campaign this week, run in conjunction with Transport Scotland, to speak up for roadworkers.

Half said they had experienced a “near miss” when vehicles had mistakenly entered a works area, while 14% said they had suffered physical abuse while working on some of Scotland’s busiest routes. One in three reported dodging plastic bottles, apple cores, eggs, juice cans and even bottles of urine.

Nearly two out of three (65%) reported being verbally abused by passing motorists and 69% of those surveyed witnessed road users ignoring red lights at road works.

Scotland’s three trunk road operating companies are now calling on road users to be patient and respect the work force who carry out essential road maintenance.

CCTV body cameras have been deployed at some road work sites with additional signs installed at some locations to try and address the abuse and unsafe behaviour.

Richard Jones, head of policy and public affairs at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, said the findings were “shocking and unacceptable”. He said: “Road workers – like all of us – have the right to safe and healthy working conditions for their essential and difficult work.”

Tom Wallace, of Amey, said another recent study had shown that more than two-thirds of drivers (77%) admitted they regularly exceeded speed limits through roadworks while 61% wilfully ignored road safety measures and drove recklessly even though the majority (89%) admitted that being a road worker is a hazardous occupation.

“The travelling public would not want their own family put in harm’s way and yet road workers also have families, loved ones and others who care for them and whose lives would be devastated if they were killed or injured simply doing their job,” he said.

RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams urged drivers who witnessed incidents to report them to the police.