Thu, Feb 15, 2024 4:00 PM

Social traffic manager making a positive difference


William Woodworth

A social media savvy traffic manager has been clocking up fans across the region in her bid to bring people home safety.

Vortex Traffic management boss Tash Lutherus is bringing daily smiles to drivers dealing with roadworks.

Her daily work summaries and updates online have captured the public’s attention.

For the mother-of-five whose main aim is to get both staff and drivers home safely, it’s been a big win.

“I never realised quite how much that my little posts impact people’s days until I’ve seen the responses and the happier drivers.

“It’s definitely not for fame – they’re simply to keep us, and drivers, safer,” she says.

Tash updates posts on Facebook’s Marlborough Cool Cat Chat page, letting road users know where her staff will be working.

Tash says that having the flexibility of a small business-like Vortex means jobs and workers can be more personable.

Her highlights, lowlights, and even a song of the day have been welcomed by delighted readers.

But behind it all, there is a serious message, she says.

“We have the speed limits for a reason, because it really is scary on the side of the road when big trucks roar past or cars speed through without slowing down - we’re not trained to dodge metal signs or cones.

“Sometimes when I notice that people are rushing through our sites too fast, we make the cone paths narrower to slow people down when we must.

“However, I’ve noticed so many more positive comments, waves and toots at our sites because local travellers are more understanding of what is going on with our sites, so it must be working!”

Tash, who spent much of her working life in government agencies, says that she never expected flipping lollypops on the side of the road 11 years ago would become a career.

“I always drove through roadworks and always thought they were interesting, so when I wanted to try something different, I thought it would be way more suitable to my personality.”

Tash credits Vortex’s local team for helping make her posts so positive.

“Roadworkers know that people aren’t happy when they get stuck waiting in roadworks, especially how many of our sites are on main roads in the region.

“When we have emergency callouts, obviously doing the job first is a priority but I try and let people know as soon as possible.

“I thought having more communications with people mean they can preplan their trips which makes everyone’s travel, and our jobs, much safer with happier, informed drivers.”

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