The PCC is supporting the next phase of the road safety campaign Illuminate which will focus on young drivers.
The campaign launched in February this year was set up to reduce fatalities on the roads of South Yorkshire by the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership. It will now be supported by both Dr Billings and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.
Statistics published last month by the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership showed that there had been an 88.5% increase across South Yorkshire in fatal casualties in 2015. Initial findings show that the contributory factors to road traffic collisions are speed, driver behaviour, not driving to the road conditions and driving whilst being over the prescribed drink or drug limit.
The Illuminate campaign will target young drivers through the month of August through a number of platforms including Facebook, Twitter and music streaming websites. It will seek to re-educate young drivers and their passengers on the importance of keeping within speed limits, wearing seatbelts and not using electronic devices whilst in control of a motorised vehicle.
Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “The Illuminate campaign is extremely important as it will repeatedly show young drivers how a split second decision could have devastating consequences.
“The campaign throughout August is directed at young drivers, but we must also reach out to other passengers in the vehicle. It is their own responsibility to ensure that they are wearing appropriate seatbelts, not traveling with a driver who has consumed alcohol or drugs and do not act as a distraction whilst travelling in the vehicle.
“I hope this campaign makes people stop and think about their actions. We understand that young drivers may be acting under peer pressure, but everyone in the vehicle has a responsibility to ensure that they all arrive at their destination safely.”
Illuminate will continue with further safety messages targeted at mobile phone usage and seatbelts over September and October. South Yorkshire residents will be able to hear radio advertisements running across Dearne FM, Rother FM, Trax FM and Hallam FM.
Social media users are encouraged to help spread these important messages by following #Illuminate.
Chief Inspector Glen Suttenwood, Head of Roads Policing for South Yorkshire and Humberside said: “Drivers within South Yorkshire can help us to work at reducing the numbers of fatalities on the roads within the county. The figures release last month show that 49 people have lost their lives in South Yorkshire as a result of a road traffic collision in the past year.
“We must all take responsibility for what happens in and around a vehicle that we are driving or travelling in. The campaign is also trying to reach out to family members of young drivers. We encourage them to speak to them and ensure they know the importance of speed limits, seatbelts, not taking any substances that could affect their ability to drive and challenging the use of electronic equipment, when in control of a motorised vehicle.”
Area Manager Steve Helps, said: “Every death on our roads is a tragedy, but it is even more keenly felt when it is a young person who loses their life. Safe driving is mostly common sense. So we’re asking people to drive at the appropriate speed, leave a decent gap between you and the vehicle in front and never, ever drink and drive. Not just during the duration of this campaign, but every single day.”
The social media campaign will begin during the first week of August.