Pulling on the heartstrings of motorists, a new safety campaign has plastered signs on the M60 showing kids in PPE saying ‘my daddy works here’.
It’s a genius PR angle; take the family of those affected by road worker fatalities and use them to communicate an emotional safety campaign. Motorists are far more likely to empathise with kids than anyone else, and that’s why this could be one of the most powerful safety messages the highways sector uses this year.
With more than 300 workers operating the new scheme, the message comes as a timely reminder when workers are most at risk. Carillion, Balfour Beatty, Costain and a BAM Nuttall/Morgan Sindall Joint Venture are carrying out the important work to reduce journey times in the area.
Paul Hampson, project manager at Highways England commented, “This is one of the biggest construction projects currently taking place in the region so it’s vital we do all we can to make sure both workers and drivers stay safe. Paul is one of the hundreds of workers involved in the scheme whose friends and family want to see them come home safely every day.
“I hope the new campaign will encourage people to think more about the workers behind the barriers who are carrying out the work on the smart motorway scheme, so we can reach the end of the project without anyone being injured.”
Narrow lanes and 50mph signs are being reinforced with this safety message to hold up what has been over half a million hours of work without an accident. Other messages on the signs include: ‘my mummy works here’ and ‘take care within the roadworks
Paul Hancock’s five-year-old son, Joseph, is one of the children featured on the signs. Paul, who lives in Wilmslow and is a team leader on the smart motorway project, said: “Joseph describes my job as building a motorway so he was really excited to have his photo taken for the safety campaign. We’ll have to see what he makes of it when he sees his face on a sign at the side of the road. I hope the campaign will encourage people to think more about the workers behind the barriers, as well as reminding us to remain focused on safety while we’re on the motorway.
“Even with the reduced speed limit, it still feels fast when you’ve got thousands of vehicles zooming past you so I’d definitely urge people to stick to the temporary limit when they’re traveling through the roadworks.”
Similar efforts in Cheshire have road workers children enter a competition to make the best-drawn safety poster (above). The posters were a huge success as Costain reported they had ‘anecdotal information’ that drivers were slowing down from 50mph to 40mph effectively. kind of message can be so effective: “We worked on the principle it is far better to try to change culture and behavior in this way rather than through the enforcement of speed limits.”