A driver from West Yorkshire has been fined £150 and handed a three point driving licence penalty after driving through a Highways Agency rolling road block on the M62 in Greater Manchester.
The male driver, from Leeds, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at Rochdale Magistrates’ Court last week.
The court heard Highways Agency Traffic Officers from their outstation at Milnrow near Rochdale were dealing with a road traffic collision between junctions 21 and 22 of the motorway in March when they needed to operate the rolling road block.
The road block was put in place to keep traffic back from the accident scene ahead where fellow Traffic Officers were working to quickly clear the carriageway and restore normal motorway conditions.
However, soon after launching the road block and displaying the ‘don’t pass’ sign from their high-visibility patrol vehicle, the two traffic officers in the patrol car saw the Leeds driver's vehicle passing them and heading straight towards their colleagues in the carriageway.
A warning was instantly dispatched to the incident scene, the operation temporarily abandoned and the driver's registration reported to Greater Manchester Police who pursued this week’s prosecution.
Rolling road blocks are used by police and Highways Agency Traffic Officers to slow down traffic and hold it back – creating a safe environment ahead to allow them to remove broken down vehicles or hazardous debris.
John McTaggart (pictured), head of on road operations for the Highways Agency Traffic Officer Service in the North of England, said, "This is an expensive lesson for this driver and we hope other drivers across the region take heed.
“Drivers need to be aware it is an offence to ignore the instructions of Highways Agency Traffic Officers and they risk a fine, driving ban or even a jail sentence if they fail to comply with those directions and drive into protected areas of the motorway where Traffic Officers, the police and other roadworkers are just trying to get on with their jobs - making the roads safer for everyone else.
“We thank Greater Manchester Police for pursuing action over this issue. Highways Agency Traffic Officers and other roadworkers need to be sure they can work safely at incidents and roadworks without the fear of drivers breaking through cones or rolling roadblocks - putting themselves and the roadworkers at risk of serious injury or death.”