Death spurs safety plea

THE death of a Ravenswood man who was controlling traffic at a roadworks site in Mowbray on Tuesday is a ``tragic reminder'' to drivers to obey roadwork speed limits, Road Safety Advisory Council chairman John Gledhill says.

Mr Gledhill said he did not know the facts of this case but, in general, drivers were too ready to ignore the reduced speed limit signs or view roadworks speed limits as mere guidelines.

``These speed limits are there for a reason: to give the roadworkers the protection they deserve in their workplace,'' Mr Gledhill said.

``I know at times it's frustrating - it frustrates me, too.

``But they are there for a good reason and this is a tragic illustration of that.''

The 62-year-old man was struck by a ute on Vermont Road about 1.30pm and died at the Launceston General Hospital on Tuesday night.

The driver of the ute, a 57-year-old Mayfield man, has spoken to police.

Sergeant Nick Clark said police were still investigating the crash and no charges had been laid.

``At the time it was signposted as a 40km/h work-zone, and our investigation is going through various processes to determine the speed of the driver,'' Sergeant Clark said.

The roadworker's employer, Altus Traffic, said its chief executive Stephen O'Dwyer travelled to Tasmania yesterday to review the site and talk to workers.

Altus chief financial officer Peter Backwell said ``we are all terribly saddened and upset by the loss of one of our colleagues''.

Mr Backwell said the man's colleagues and his family had been offered counselling.

Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union organiser Rodney Burles said it was not good enough that people who worked in the traffic management business considered being hit by a car an occupational hazzard.

Mr Burles said people needed to consider the families of roadworkers when driving through roadwork zones and not just view them as a nuisance. 

A spokeswoman for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources Department said there were currently 39 re-sealing roadworks operations occurring statewide, as well as extensive upgrades to the Midland and Bass highways and work being undertaken by councils.

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