Jets of cans, adjustable wrenches, bottles of urine… On the roads, the operating agents face the aggressiveness of the users

It is a violence difficult to imagine. Every day, the agents of the State who secure the public roads and highways (those which are free) are insulted or threatened by increasingly aggressive motorists. Recognizable by their orange outfit, they are 3,900 to work within the interdepartmental direction of roads (DIR), attached to the ministry of transport.

“It’s been going on for a while, but now, really, it’s getting worse”, is alarmed Pierre Vincent-Luce, head of the Nanterre interdepartmental roads center and Force Ouvrière representative. In another center, that of Saint-Denis, Sophiane Ait Dahmane, an operating agent, is also worried. As he closed a slip road on the A86, near the Stade de France, he heard a motorist shout: “Don’t move, we’ll come and shoot you. »

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The hardest part is closing the lanes in the morning, when everyone is in a rush to get to work. “There, if they have objects, they throw them at us, even when we protect a broken down motorist”, notes Mr. Vincent-Luce. What they receive is staggering: McDonald’s cups, cans, but also tools of all kinds (adjustable wrenches, pliers, etc.) and bottles of urine from truck drivers. “It breaks a bit the image of the nice driver”lets go of the technician.

“Never turn your back on the road”

When we’re riding on those bottles, working on the hard shoulder or on the side of the road, we’re happy when we don’t get splashed.”, sighs Sophiane Ait Dahmane. The road management tries to do educational work. “For the past few years, we have been doing actions in truck driver training centres, we show them our equipment. But we have to wait for a generational renewal to see the effects., explains Pierre Vincent-Luce. The agents note a strong regression of good citizenship since the release of the confinements: more infringements of the highway code and, above all, more and more waste left on the side of the roads.

What is most dangerous are motorway or ramp closures for maintenance or work

The worst is not there. The threats are far from being only verbal. “When a security corridor is set up, motorists should move away. Some do the opposite: they brush against us to show their annoyancedeplores Mr. Ait Dahmane. You should never turn your back on the road. We run the risk of being run over at any time. » Thomas Walliser, head of the management district for the north of Ile-de-France of the DIR, cites three accidents: an agent was hit with a cross to change the wheels; another, in Val-d’Oise, was run over by a motorist, who then backed up on him; finally, an officer was dragged 20 meters.

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