The South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership is urging all road users to consider their behaviour and to take extra care, in an effort to reduce the number of people injured or killed and to make the roads of South Yorkshire safer for everyone.
The message from the Partnership comes in the wake of last year’s road traffic collision figures, which saw a drop in the number of people getting injured on the county’s roads but a rise in the number of people getting killed.
“Although fewer people were injured last year compared to 2014, we were very disappointed to see that the number of people who were killed actually rose,” said Joanne Wehrle, the Education Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership.
“A total of 49 people of all ages lost their lives as the result of road traffic collisions across the county – 23 more than in 2014. This is extremely sad because any fatality is one too many and they leave a trail of devastation for family and friends left behind.”
She added: “The Safer Roads Partnership offers a vast range of safety courses for all ages and all road users. Whether you are a pedestrian, a cyclist, a motor-cyclist or a driver the Partnership can provide advice, training, support and information on a variety of topics. Many courses are geared to particular age groups, such as ‘Drive for Life’ for the 17 to 24 year age group, who are just about to start driving.
“However, road users, particularly car drivers and passengers, can do a lot to help and protect themselves by abiding by some key rules; drive to the conditions of the road and don’t speed, never use a mobile phone while at the wheel, don’t t drive when under the influence of drink or drugs and always ensure that you and your passengers wear a seatbelt. Remember that we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves and other road users safe. Look out for other road users and respect their needs when out on the roads.”
The figures concerned the Partnership so much that in February South Yorkshire Police, in conjunction with the Safer Roads Partnership, launched Operation Illuminate as part of a determined effort to prevent further tragedies.
Chief Supt. Rob Odell, Chair of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership Board, said: “The increase in fatalities, especially those that occurred in the final few months of last year, means that both the Partnership and South Yorkshire Police must redouble our efforts to get the messages across about safer driving habits through both education and enforcement. We are targeting those road users who, as a result of their actions, may endanger themselves and others.”
In figures announced by the Safer Roads Partnership, 2015 saw a total of 4,401 casualties arising from 3,066 collisions on the roads in South Yorkshire – a drop of 3.4 percent.
Some 352 people were seriously injured in road accidents, which were 91 less than in 2014. Fewer people – 4,000 – were also slightly injured in 2015, compared to 4,088 in 2014.
There was a 3.2 per cent drop in the number of road collisions involving personal injury to 3,066. Of these, 359 involved fatal or serious injuries – 59 less than the year before.
A total of 49 people were killed, which was 23 more than the year before (2014) and which saw each of the four districts suffering an increase. Doncaster had the highest number of fatal casualties – 19, while Sheffield suffered 15, Rotherham 12 and Barnsley three.
Although each local authority area in South Yorkshire saw an increase in fatal casualties, each district also experienced a drop in the number of seriously injured compared to the year before, with both Sheffield and Doncaster having the lowest totals on record.
As in previous years, car users – drivers and passengers – experienced the highest number of casualties, although these fell from 3,026 to 2,988 in 2015. The number of car users killed or seriously injured fell to 137 but unfortunately, the number of fatal car user casualties increased to 28 in 2015, which accounted for more than half – 53 per cent – of all fatalities across the county.
Also as in previous years, car occupants were the largest casualty type at 34 per cent of all casualties, with pedestrians in second place at 29 per cent, motorcyclists at 24 per cent and pedal cycles at 11 per cent.
The number of pedestrian casualties dropped by 7.5 per cent to 570. However, the number of pedestrians getting killed increased by two to 11.
The number of casualties involving powered two wheelers – motorbikes and scooters – increased by 12 to 302 last year. The number of killed and seriously injured fell to 96 but with nine of these being fatal, seven more than in 2014.
All pedal cyclist casualties fell to 300 in 2015, along with the killed and seriously injured total falling from 57 to 44. Unfortunately, however, one pedal cyclist was killed in 2015.
There was a decrease in the number of children and young people killed or seriously injured in South Yorkshire in 2015. A total of 74, 45 of whom were pedestrians, were seriously injured – a drop of 6.2 per cent, and four were killed.