Firm's roadworkers wearing bodycams amid rising abuse from drivers
- Credit: TBF Traffic
A traffic management firm has issued staff with body-worn cameras amid rising cases of abuse from drivers.
TBF Traffic, which has a depot in Dereham, has asked employees to wear the cameras in a bid to deter attacks from motorists.
The company has had to deal with a whole host of incidents over the years, the vast majority of which involve verbal abuse.
But Andrew Stiff, manager at the Dereham depot, said situations can occasionally escalate to something far uglier.
"Abuse of roadworkers has always been a problem," he added.
"I was out on the road to start with, before I ended up in this job, and it was bad then. Everybody at some point has experienced it.
"The abuse is mainly verbal, but we have seen it get physical - like people getting punched. There have been bottles of urine thrown, and even cars driven at people as well."
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TBF, which also has depots at Needham Market in Suffolk and South Mimms in Herfordshire, is giving bodycams to all of its road crews.
The move means additional signage will have to be displayed by maintenance teams, informing drivers that CCTV is in operation.
"Bodycams are something we have been looking at for a while," said Mr Stiff.
"They are to try and protect the boys while they work. They cannot respond to the abuse, or they would probably end up losing their jobs.
"It is just disappointing that it has had to happen."
The company is also supporting the 'Stamp It Out' campaign, which calls for an end to the abuse of roadworkers.
A higher level of protection is afforded to other key workers, such as those in the emergency services.
Mr Stiff added: "At the end of the day, the boys are just trying to do a job. With road resurfacing for example, that has to be done once every 15 years.
"We are not doing this to annoy people. We know it's frustrating, but it is always for a good reason.
"The sooner we get off the road, the better. We are not deliberately keeping the road shut to mess everybody about."