Crackdown on dangerous drivers after rise in road deaths in South Yorkshire

Chief Inspector Glen Suttenwood at the launch of Operation Illuminate. Picture: Andrew Roe
Chief Inspector Glen Suttenwood at the launch of Operation Illuminate. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Police will be ‘shining a light’ on bad driving after road deaths in South Yorkshire nearly doubled last year compared to 2014.

A total of 48 people died following collisions during 2015 – a marked increase from the previous year when 26 people lost their lives.

Road users can do a lot to help and protect themselves by abiding by some key rules

Joanne Wehrle, safer roads education manager for South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership

Now, a new campaign called Operation Illuminate aims to educate motorists on safer driving.

South Yorkshire Police will work with South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership during the campaign.

Roads in the Balby area of Doncaster and Pitsmoor and Fir Vale areas of Sheffield, identified as having a high number of road traffic collisions, will be targeted by officers using breathalysers and drug driving kits.

The operation will focus on reducing casualties and deaths on South Yorkshire’s roads.

Officers said initial findings show the main contributory factors to fatal road accidents are speed, driver behaviour, not driving according to the road conditions and alcohol.

Chief Inspector Glen Suttenwood, head of roads policing for South Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “We’ve looked at where best we can maximise our resources.

“We’re going to link in with local policing teams to focus on certain roads but it goes further than that.

“We need to develop an education programme in schools and engage children and young people to promote and raise awareness of the dangers that are associated with our roads.”

Operation Illuminate will also include campaigns that target key areas, such as young drivers and drug driving.

Officers, who will undergo additional training, will target the main offences being committed on the roads and direct their activity to where it can have the greatest effect on reducing the casualty rates.

Joanne Wehrle, safer roads education manager for South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said: “Road users can do a lot to help and protect themselves by abiding by some key rules.

“Drive to the conditions of the road and don’t speed, never use a mobile phone while at the wheel, don’t drive when under the influence of drink or drugs and always ensure that you and your passengers wear a seatbelt. Remember that we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves and other road users safe.”