Whakatāne's mayor is fighting for a nationwide review of traffic management rules after the deaths of three Rotorua roadworkers at Matatā.
Higgins staff Haki Hiha, David Eparaima and Dudley Soul Raroa died when a truck veered off State Highway 2 at 90km/h on February 26.
It shunted a Higgins truck that rolled into a culvert on to the men.
David Michael Cox, from Tauranga, pleaded guilty to three counts of careless driving causing death in April and will be sentenced later this month.
A 25-year-old Fulton Hogan worker was also killed in an unrelated crash in Wellington's Ngauranga Gorge in March.
Whakatāne Mayor Tony Bonne has since brought concerns about road workers' safety to the regional council and police, and prepared a remit document that will go before all councils next month.
It asks for a review of traffic management on all New Zealand roads and for any improvements to be made urgently.
Bonne said there was no suggestion the council was at all responsible for the Matatā crash - "it's just trying to be proactive".
"It's quite clear to me that speed restrictions at roadworks are totally ignored most of the time ... they are totally abused around the country ... the police don't have the manpower to enforce these everywhere."
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In his opinion, "there needs to be a 30km/h restriction whenever people are on the roadside".
He attached a letter to the draft remit sent to Tauranga City Council, Kawerau District Council, Hamilton City Council, Wairoa District Council and Dunedin City Council in late April.
Bonne wrote: "We have to ask ourselves, are we doing all that we can to ensure that those working on our roads are safe from harm?"
He said in his view, there was public discontent about the way roadworks sites were managed.
"I believe that this has come about particularly on unattended sites, where traffic management speeds don't seem appropriate or are left in place too long."
All of the councils responded in support of the remit, as has the Rotorua Lakes Council.
A vote at the Local Government New Zealand annual general meeting next month will determine whether the organisation will support the remit, and lobby central government for its nationwide implementation.
First Union's transport secretary Jared Abbott said it was good to see councils prioritising safety.
"The workers need to be involved to give real examples of how their lives are put at risk every day though, not their employers and transport experts."
He said any changes needed to be bold, to make a difference.
"It can't just a be a little tinkering."
Abbott said speed cameras at roadworks could help.
"A lot of crews will tell you that even when there is clear signalling, it is often ignored. Sometimes, when cars speed by, they [road workers] get out their phones to look like they are filming the driver, and the cars slow down."
He said new rules could make roadwork tenders more expensive, and it was important employers were made liable, not workers.
A New Zealand Transport Agency spokesman said it would carefully consider any remit from Local Government New Zealand.
He said the agency could not yet comment on whether it was at all responsible for the Matatā crash, as an investigation was not complete.
He said immediately after the Matatā deaths, "notices of interim changes to the risk assessment approach" were produced.
It is also rolling out an improved safety training programme for road workers.
The families of Hiha, Eparaima, and Raroa did not respond to request for comment on the story but had previously requested privacy.
Traffic management remit aims
• To ensure drivers are given every possible opportunity to be alerted to a worksite ahead and respond.
• To have tighter site auditing and monitoring of traffic controllers' and supervisors' competence.