A Wolverhampton-based road maintenance firm has been fined for serious safety failings after a motorcyclist suffered devastating injuries and was left paralysed after a collision with traffic signs.
Glynn Turner, 47, from Ipswich, was riding his motorcycle south on the A12 on the evening of 7 June 2010 when he collided with the traffic signs at a road closure at the junction with the B1121, near Benhall, Saxmundham.
Mr Turner, a father of three, sustained multiple injuries. He is now unable to move any part of his body, he is unable to communicate, and needs 24-hour residential care. His family have been told there is no prospect of a recovery.
Carillion AM Government Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for safety breaches following an investigation into the incident. HSE found that the first indication of roadworks was less than 200 metres before the road closure on this 50 mph stretch of the A12.
Ipswich Crown Court heard today (7 November 2013) that the company was responsible for placing a series of road signs warning of the closure and directing traffic along a diversion route.
The ‘roadworks ahead’ signs should have been erected at intervals of around 800, 400 and 200 metres in advance of the closure, and information signs alerting road users should have also been placed at up to one kilometre in advance.
However HSE found that at the time, the first indication of the road closure was just 175 metres before it happened where a large yellow information board had been placed. But, as the speed limit on that stretch of road was 50mph, this left little time for traffic to slow down and avoid a collision.
The new roads and street works act lays out specific requirements for working on the roads. Each member of staff working on the roads need to be competent to mark out road signs. It is such a shame that a simple thing has caused such a devastating outcome. Do not take chances.