Road safety campaign gets PCC backing

A ROAD safety campaign targeting young drivers is being backed by the county’s police commissioner.

The Illuminate scheme aims to reduce road deaths by shining a light on the actions which cause accidents.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, this week threw his weight behind the campaign, which began in February.

South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership launched Illuminate after countywide road deaths nearly doubled during 2015.

The 88.5 per cent increase was mainly put down to drink- and drug-driving, excessive speed and ignoring hazardous conditions.

The PCC will support the next phase of the campaign, focusing on young drivers.

A social media push during August aims to educate road users about sticking to speed limits, wearing seatbelts and not using devices while driving.

Dr Billings said: “The Illuminate campaign will show young drivers how a split second decision could have devastating consequences.

“It is directed at 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.”

He added: “We understand that young drivers may be acting under peer pressure, but everyone has a responsibility to ensure that they all arrive at their destination safely.”

Chief Insp Glen Suttenwood, the county’s head of roads policing, said: “Drivers can help us to work at reducing fatalities on the roads.

“Figures show that 49 people 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."

Area manager Steve Helps, added: “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.”

Illuminate will continue with further safety messages targeted at mobile phone usage and seatbelts over September and October.

Social media users are encouraged to help spread these important messages using the hashtag #Illuminate.