Impatient drivers caught putting people in danger by mounting kerbs and speeding around bin wagons could face prosecution, say police.
Hartlepool Borough Council took the rare move of releasing CCTV showing the terrifying moment a binman was almost hit by a car which passed just inches away from the council worker.
Another incident caught on CCTV shows a van mount a kerb and drive over the pavement in front of one of the council workers to get around the bin wagon.
Council chiefs say there have been three incidents in the last fortnight where bin crews have reported near misses when they have almost been hit by a car.
Some of the incidents have been caught on CCTV from cameras attached to the vehicles and have been reported to Cleveland Police.
Now Inspector Darren Bainbridge, of Cleveland Police, said: “I fully support the messages from Hartlepool Borough Council: this type of behaviour can place council workers, other road users and pedestrians in danger.
"Deliberately mounting kerbs to get around stationary vehicles is illegal and any driver seen doing this may face prosecution under the road traffic act.
"I’d urge motorists to be patient and allow these workers the space and time they need to perform their duties in safety.”
In a bid to stamp out on the danger driving, the council released the video footage of the incidents, which have been described as 'completely inexcusable'.
Bin crews and council managers in Hartlepool are now joining together to highlight concerns over the reckless driving that is endangering staff and the public.
Tony Hanson, assistant director (Environment and Neighbourhood Services) at Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “I’m sure the vast majority of residents will be shocked and appalled to see the footage of these near misses.
“Our bin crews work in all weathers providing a vital service to residents and businesses alike and these incidents are completely inexcusable.
“Vehicles driving on pavements might just as easily hit a child as a crew member and we will take action to prosecute impatient motorists where appropriate.
“We do understand people lead busy lives, but collections only take a few moments and we would urge drivers not to put our crews and other road users in danger.”
It comes months after Durham County Council released CCTV footage showing the dangers their staff face on a weekly basis.
Incidents included motorists speeding recklessly on pavements past staff instead of waiting patiently for wagons to move.
Examples were caught on vehicle security cameras and released as part of a new respect campaign launched with police and unions.
While council bosses described the overall number of incidents as “low but growing”, they wanted to tackle the problem before an employee or innocent member of the public suffers injury or even worse.