Roadside workers to be protected following election pledges

Following the release of shocking footage of terrifying near misses on our State’s highways, RACQ has received confirmation both Labor and the Liberal National Party would support law changes to keep roadside workers safe.

The two videos, aired on Nine News Brisbane, captured by RACQ Traffic Response and Vehicle Recovery fleet vehicles showed a distracted driver losing control of his trailer and a hatchback being collected by a fuel tanker.

Club spokesperson Paul Turner said in both incidents RACQ Roadside Assistance crews were working only metres away clearing an earlier crash and assisting stranded motorists.

“We’re talking about a split second of inattention here and that could have been the end of our crews’ lives not to mention members of the public at those crash scenes,” Mr Turner said.

“It’s why it is a huge win for roadside crews to have received support from both major political parties to examine the introduction of rules to make drivers move over and give extra space at roadside incidents.

“We’ve long pushed for these changes and it’s time our roadside crews and emergency workers were protected, because even if the traffic is going slower, if a car comes too close and they’re struck, it is game over.

“It good to see some bravery amongst our politicians who’ve stepped up to protect those heroes, like emergency workers and RACQ, working in the line of fire on our roads.”

RACQ Vehicle Recovery Officer Kane Reynolds recalled incidents when his vehicle shook when cars and trucks came too close while he worked on the side of highways.

“We work in extremely high-risk situations everyday, so we adhere to strict safety protocols to protect stranded motorists and ourselves, but that all goes out the window if a driver comes too close to us,” Mr Reynolds said.

“Most of us have experienced a close call, and it is terrifying, but at the end of the day if drivers moved over where safe to do so and gave us more space to work in I can be sure I’ll be going home to my family at the end of my shift.”

RACQ’s list of Election Priorities could be viewed here