New figures reveal number of people killed or injured on South Yorkshire's roads

Road casualty figures have been released today
Road casualty figures have been released today

A total of 3,858 people were killed or injured on South Yorkshire's roads last year.

The annual road casualty figures, released today, show that the number killed or hurt was down 12.2 per cent on last year.

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But the number killed or seriously injured - 822 - jumped by 33.4 per cent on last year's figures.

Of the 3,858 casualties on the roads last year, 2,446 were in cars, 107 were in lorries and 268 involved motorbikes.

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A total of 600 pedestrians and 319 cyclists were also recorded amongst the casualties.

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The casualty figures also include 95 people involved in collisions involving public service vehicles.

One per cent of the casualties died, 20 per cent were seriously injured and just under 80 per cent were slightly injured.

The figures for Sheffield reveal that there were a total of 1,415 casualties in Sheffield, including 325 who were either killed or seriously injured.

A total of 788 casualties were injured in cars, 21 were in lorries and 104 were on motorbikes.

Another 285 were pedestrians, 165 were cyclists and 51 were on public transport.

In Doncaster, there were 996 casualties altogether including 670 who were in cars, 38 in lorries and 53 on motorbikes.

Another 128 casualties were pedestrians and 74 were cyclists.

To coincide with the release of last year's road casualty statistics, road users have been reminded of their responsibility to keep themselves and others safe.

The number of incidents involving 17 to 24 year-olds is following a pattern of overall decline, with a 17 per cent reduction from 2016 to 2017, but the age group still makes up the biggest proportion of the total number of casualties.

The overall increase in the figures for the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads is thought to be linked to a recently-adopted recording system known as CRASH, which has standardised the way in which serious injuries are categorised.

Superintendent Simon Wanless, Chairman of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said: "We are still waiting for national casualty statistics to be released, but early indicators suggest that other police forces who have started using CRASH have seen an increase in their own killed or seriously injured figures.

"It is possible that casualty statistics have been artificially low in previous years, as before now it was at the discretion of the officer attending a collision to assess the

level of injury.

"While we are concerned about the increase in these numbers, we are confident that the figures are more reflective of the reality in South Yorkshire, and give us better

information to help target and improve the effectiveness of our education and enforcement activities."

Chief Inspector Russell Hughes, who heads up South Yorkshire Police’s road policing group said, "When serious collisions occur my team are always on scene, and there are certain contributing factors, often illegal behaviours, that we see time and time again.

"The police have always had powers to enforce road traffic laws but a recent change in legislation, around drug driving and increases to penalties for the use of a mobile

phone whilst driving, has highlighted the dangers of these behaviours.

"In spite of this we continue to see people using their mobile phones while driving and my officers have also been using their roadside testing kits on drivers they suspect are under the influence of drugs.

"We cannot stress enough how dangerous these driving behaviours are. Being involved in a crash because you are distracted, or in an unfit state to drive, will have

lasting, maybe even fatal, consequences for you, your family and the others involved."

Joanne Wehrle, Safer Roads Manager at South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said: "Our road safety team works countywide to educate people and give them the skills to become safer road users.

"The data and anecdotal feedback from the police and the community makes it clear that we still have a great deal of work to do.

"Road users can do a lot to help and protect themselves by abiding by some key rules; drivers can ensure that they drive to the conditions of the road and don’t speed, never use a phone while at the wheel, don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and always ensure that they and their passengers wear a seatbelt."