Road deaths double in a year

DRIVERS have been urged to think about the “trail of devastation for family and friends left behind” caused by serious accidents after South Yorkshire road deaths doubled.

Speeding, using mobile phones at the wheel, not wearing a seatbelt, not driving in keeping with weather and other road conditions, and drink-driving were among the risk factors blamed for the rise.

A total of 49 people died on the county’s roads last year — up from 26 last year — and 12 died in Rotherham, which is double the previous year’s figures.

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Police and road safety officials vowed to redouble their efforts to crack down on motorists flouting the law and appealed to road users to slow down and drive sensibly.

Joanne Wehrle, education manager for the Safer Roads Partnership, said: “These latest figures show that no-one who uses the roads can afford to be complacent — we all have to be responsible for our behaviour.

“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.

“Any fatality is one too many and they leave a trail of devastation for family and friends left behind.”

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There were also 73 serious injuries and 768 slight injuries in Rotherham in 2015.

While the number of deaths on the roads soared, figures for all serious accidents and the total number of accidents fell across the county.

Chief Supt Rob Odell, Chair of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership Board, vowed to step up both education and enforcement.

He said the partnership must “redouble” efforts “get the messages across about safer driving habits through both education and enforcement”.

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Mr Odell added: “We are targeting those road users who, as a result of their actions, may endanger themselves and others.”

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, welcomed the fall in accident numbers but was concerned at the rise in deaths.

“The number of cars on the road has risen dramatically over the last 30 years and whilst vehicles are undoubtedly getting safer, the number of distractions and dangers to drivers are growing,” he said.

Ms Wehrle said those looking to improve their safety on the roads should look into the Safer Roads Partnership’s range of courses for all road users, including many geared to particular age groups.


  • There were 4,401 people injured in 3,066 collisions in South Yorkshire last year, meaning the number injured was down 3.6 per cent and the figure for “injury accidents” down by 3.2 per cent.
  • The 352 seriously injured represented a fall of 91 on 2014, while the 4,000 slightly injured is 88 down on the previous year.
  • 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.
  • All four areas of South Yorkshire saw their death toll rise — with 12 people killed on Rotherham’s roads (compared to 19 in Doncaster, 15 in Sheffield and three in Barnsley).
  • Car users - drivers and passengers - experienced the highest number of casualties, although these fell from 3,026 to 2,988 in 2015.
  • Of these, 28 died — which amounted to more than half the fatalities across the county.  
  • The number of pedestrian casualties dropped by 7.5 per cent to 570 but the number of pedestrians getting killed increased by two to 11.
  • The number of casualties involving motorbikes and scooters increased by 12 to 302 last year, with the number of deaths rising from two to nine.
  • Cyclist casualties fell to 300 in 2015, with the killed and seriously injured total falling from 57 to 44, and one cyclist being killed.
  • There was a fall in the number of children and young people killed or seriously injured.
  • A total of 74, 45 of whom were pedestrians, were seriously injured - a drop of 6.2 per cent, and four were killed.