TRAFFIC: Roadworkers are just trying to do their job, council says.
TRAFFIC: Roadworkers are just trying to do their job, council says.

Drivers urged to show roadworkers respect during delays

ROAD rage is putting the lives of Tweed roadworkers in danger, following three reported incidents of aggression and assault this year.

Tweed Shire Council is appealing to motorists to be more patient if delayed at roadworks after a driver drove at and hit a traffic controller on Morton Street, Chinderah, on Monday May 11.

The incident, which has been reported to police along with the vehicle's registration number, is the third confrontation on Tweed roads since March.

Council has reported that a vehicle drove at and nudged a traffic controller working on Kyogle Road in April, while back in March another motorist stopped and verbally abused a traffic controller on Tweed Valley Way behind Tumbulgum Village.

Council has details of the vehicle involved in the Kyogle Road incident and photographic evidence of the Tweed Valley Way incident, together with a report from the motorist following the abusive driver. These are also being followed up with police.

At a meeting of Northern NSW councils in Grafton last week, the Roads and Maritime Authority reported an escalation in road rage incidents against roadworkers.

"In the Tweed there are a lot of roadworks happening at the moment so it should not be a surprise to any motorist that you might encounter a stop / slow flagman and a short delay wherever you are travelling," Tweed Shire Council's General Manager Troy Green said.

"We work to keep any delay to less than five minutes but, on major construction or repair jobs, this is not always possible. Still, there is no excuse for abuse."

In August last year, a 43-year-old man from Terragon was fined $500 and placed on a 12-month good-behaviour bond after pleading guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after a roadworker was injured on Tyalgum Road, Eungella, in November 2016.

"Any motorist who assaults a roadworker can expect to be charged and prosecuted because it's simply not on. Traffic controllers are out there doing their jobs keeping road users safe," Mr Green said.

"They deserve to go home to their families at the end of their shifts just like every other worker."



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