COUNCIL officials say impatient drivers are putting lives at risk on North Yorkshire’s roads as workers are having to dice with death while trying to control traffic.

Ambulances have had to be called to two incidents in which workers were hurt, although so far no-one has been seriously injured, and several workers have had close calls.

Contractors Ringway, North Yorkshire County Council’s highways contractor, said incidents were becoming more frequent.

Phil Jepps, divisional manager of Ringway, said: “We have had several incidents where staff have been put at risk by irresponsible drivers while they are managing the flow of traffic at road works, particularly when using the traditional ‘stop-go’ boards.

“We have had to call an ambulance on two occasions; once when a worker had to jump out of the way of a car and twisted his ankle and also when a car hit a ‘stop-go’ board which knocked the worker holding it to the ground.

“Obviously, no-one enjoys being held up by roadworks, but the traffic management is vital to ensure we can do our work safely, efficiently and effectively.

“It is there to protect drivers, the public and our workforce.

“We only ever put traffic management in place when absolutely necessary.”

Mr Jepps appealed to drivers to brake and reduce speed when approaching road works and follow instructions.

“Put starkly, this really could mean the difference between life and death.

“We will not tolerate behaviour that jeopardises the safety of our staff.

“These are local people with local families working in the areas where they live.

“Irresponsible drivers should not put them at risk for the sake of a few extra minutes on their car journeys.”

David Bowe, the county council’s corporate director of business and environmental services and vice-chairman of the 95 Alive road safety partnership, said: “We appeal to motorists to please drive carefully at road works.

“The use of stop-go boards is often the best way to minimise delays, but it means staff must stand in the roadway.

“We urge drivers to help take responsibility for their safety by being patient and sharing the road safely with them.”