NEARLY 5,000 people were killed or injured in collisions on the roads in South Yorkshire last year - with almost 1,800 of them in Sheffield.
Traffic accidents in the city in 2010 caused 1,764 casualties. In Rotherham the figure was 984, in Barnsley 806, and in Doncaster 1,374.
But despite the tragic toll of deaths and injuries - five people were killed in Sheffield, and 155 seriously injured - the Department for Transport figures did represent an ‘improving trend’.
The previous year saw 1,973 casualties in Sheffield - 11 of them killed, and 199 injured seriously.
Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “The figures for Sheffield show an improving trend. We’re one of the largest cities in the country, yet we had a 38 per cent decrease in accidents.
“We continue to invest in road safety schemes and training - particularly aimed at those groups showing the highest incidence of accidents.
“It seems the work we have done in schools and with young drivers, as well as engineering work on highways, has been working.
“But we are not complacent. We will keep working to reduce these figures further still in the future.”
The figures come as parents gathered at the junction of Harborough Avenue and Fretson Road, Manor, Sheffield, to appeal for safer streets after nine-year-old Mitchell Mason was knocked down by a car.
He will need to learn to walk again and is being treated at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Mum Leasa Ward said: “The road is complete nightmare. We need to get something done about it - I really hope the council responds.”
Last year’s city death toll included biker Steven Eames, 51, killed when his Harley Davidson was hit by drunk motorist Dimitri Wright on Hemsworth Road, Norton, in September.
In March 2010, Hinde House School teaching assistant June Bryce-Stephen, aged 56, was killed in a crash caused by racing drivers Simon Chevens and Adam Cox on Halifax Road in Wadsley Bridge.
June’s daughter Joanne Capille said the number of casualties is still too high.
“Since my mum was killed by two dangerous drivers I have become more aware of other drivers’ behaviour when I am on the road myself,” she said.
“The arrogant and dangerous behaviour of some motorists is beyond belief sometimes.
“It’s upsetting to think another family will undoubtedly have to go through what we have. Until sentencing for this type of crime is increased I don’t think we will see much change in the number of deaths on the roads.”
Already statistics for this year will include several tragedies - 38-year-old former boxer Tom Bradley died two weeks ago in a motorbike crash on Rivelin Valley Road, and pedestrian Frank Bowling, 56, was killed in the same week when he was hit by a van on Spital Hill.
Paul Blomfield, Sheffield Central MP, said: “These sort of accidents have to be avoidable. It is great news the number of accidents in Sheffield is down, but we need to get it so that there are no road deaths.
“We need to keep working until nobody dies on our roads.”
The Department for Transport compiled the statistics for last year and the year before based on personal injury accidents on public roads, including footpaths, which were reported to the police.
Sheffield: TOTAL 1,764 (5 dead, 155 seriously injured, 1,604 slightly injured); Rotherham: TOTAL 984 (5 dead, 54 seriously injured, 925 slightly injured), Barnsley: TOTAL 806 (7 dead, 60 seriously injured, 739 slightly injured), Doncaster: TOTAL 1,374 (17 dead, 132 seriously injured, 1,225 slightly injured).