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Driven to an early grave

It is reported that there has been a downward trend in road deaths since 2005.

Research has also shown that speed has been a significant factor in most road deaths, therefore it is not unreasonable to suggest that speed cameras are playing a large part in reducing the annual carnage on our highways.

In 2007 there were 77 deaths (one third of all worker deaths) in the construction industry compared with 2,940 deaths on our roads but this does not give the full picture. Of these deaths on our public roads there will be a large number involving construction workers.

This is an area to which our industry has paid little attention to date. All too often pressures of work lead engineers or building material reps to rush from one site or office to another attending meetings or appointments.

Ironically engineers' great improvements in highway design and construction have allowed vehicles to travel at higher speeds. It is time that our industry recognised that it should shoulder some of the responsibility for road deaths and start making a positive contribution to the promotion of safer driving by its employees outside the confines of the construction site and office.

PETER MASON, civil engineer, MWH, Mann House, peter.mason@mwhglobal.com

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