Fire service leads new road safety campaign

A NEW campaign spearheaded by fire service staff aims to keep children safer on the roads — and cut the number involved in accidents.

After 1,522 children aged ten to 16 were hurt on South Yorkshire’s roads in the past five years, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has teamed up with the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership to launch the safety package for Year 10 students.

The H16HWAY package aims to provide young people with the tools and advice they need to keep safe on the roads as pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders and passengers. 

It will focus on the distractions pedestrians face, what behaviour is risky around the roads and how to find a safe place to stop.

There are also sections on safe cycling and scooter riding and the importance of wearing seatbelts, as well as tips on what to do in an emergency.

SYFR head of prevention and protection, Steve Helps, said: “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. 

“Young people are over represented in our casualty statistics when it comes to road traffic collisions, therefore it’s important they receive reminders about the safe use of our roads to prevent them from becoming victims.” 

Joanne Wehrle (pictured), Safer Roads Manager at South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Unfortunately, there have been a total of 1,522 children and young people between the ages ten to 16 reported as injured over the last five years on South Yorkshire roads. 

“Of this number, 275 of them, tragically, were either killed or seriously injured as a pedestrian, passenger in a car or as the rider of a motorcycle.

“We support packages like H16HWAY in helping us to deliver key road safety information and advice to young people in a bid to encourage safer behaviours.”

From September, fire community safety officers will lead free one-hour sessions including group discussions and watching film clips.

Schools wanting to book a session should contact South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue education advocate Julie Claytor on 07990 951643 or [email protected] or community safety co-ordinator Claire Walsh on 0776841802 or [email protected].