SOUTH Yorkshire's roads are getting safer . . . but there's no room for complacency say campaigners.
The past year was the first since records began in 1979 that no children were killed on the county’s highways.
Two children aged under 16 had died in accidents in each of the previous two years.
The total number of people killed and seriously injured on South Yorkshire’s roads fell to 530 in 2009—also a record low.
The South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership said that it was pleased with the results—which follow several years of declining figures—but was keen to keep making the roads safer.
Ken Wheat, the partnership’s manager, said: “It is gratifying that there were no child deaths on the roads of South Yorkshire last year as this shows how the Safer Roads Partnership and public awareness of road safety is helping to reduce the number of people killed in collisions on the county's roads.
“This zero figure makes us determined to do even more.
“We must continue to do everything that we can to make the roads as safe as possible for children and other road users alike and further reduce the number of people killed or injured.
“Work on reducing the casualties on South Yorkshire’s roads must continue."
According to the Department for Transport (DfT), traffic is the biggest single cause of accidental death for 12 to 15 year olds.
Statistics also show that drivers are most at risk of having an accident in the first two years after they pass their test.
One in five newly qualified drivers has a crash of some description within a year.
Chief Supt Keith Lumley said: “The partnership is delighted that we are seeing a reduction in the number of fatal and life-threatening collisions in South Yorkshire, especially where children are involved.
"In 1983, 22 children died on South Yorkshire’s roads, compared to none in 2009.
“This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams within the Safer Roads Partnership to make every road user safer.
“Every death is a tragedy, however, and we will strive to reduce further the numbers of people killed on our roads through what we know are successful reduction methods.
"South Yorkshire Police will continue to target drivers who speed, drink and drive, use drugs, mobile phones, don't wear seatbelts and drive in a dangerous manner through a range of methods ranging from education to prosecution.
“Prosecution is often a last resort but if it is proportionate and modifies driving behaviour leading to a life being saved then it will be worth it."