How South Yorkshire Police's traffic cops are working to cut tragedies on region's roads
South Yorkshire Police’s traffic cops have told of their aim to cut tragedies on the region’s roads this year.
The force is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding 50 fatal crashes which happened across the county in 2019.
PC Bruce Yacomeni, a staff officer with South Yorkshire Police’s Operational Support Unit, told The Star: “Serious and fatal collisions can devastate lives and communities.
“We’re always working towards bringing down the number of serious and fatal collisions here in South Yorkshire – and we’re doing this in a number of ways.
“We’re out there day in, day out to enforce traffic legislation.
“More police are coming into the force so that will help us with our aim.
“We’re also continuing to do a lot of work around targeting – and raising awareness about – the ‘fatal four’ offences.”
These are the four crimes which most contribute to fatal collisions - speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone behind the wheel, and driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
Last week, The Star spent a morning with PC Simon Betteridge, who has worked with South Yorkshire Police for 18 years and spent four of those as a roads policing constable.
During the morning, PC Betteridge and his colleagues dealt with scores of reported incidents, including speeding drivers, a motorist involved in drug-related activity, a man who was driving without vehicle tax, and a stranded vehicle in a live lane on Sheffield Parkway.
PC Betteridge said: “It’s a very varied job – no two days are the same.”
Driving around the South Yorkshire village of Goldthorpe, he added: “People contacted us to say they wanted to see a police presence here after a number of incidents recently.
“Just having that police presence can be important for many people in our communities.”
PC Betteridge also works as a family liaison officer, a role which involves assisting bereaved families.
He said: “You do experience things which take a toll on you.
“Our overarching aim is to bring down the number of serious and fatal collisions in South Yorkshire so people don’t go through the pain of losing someone.”