Police hail reduction in road deaths but pledge to continue safety work

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THE number of people dying on South Yorkshire’s roads has fallen - but more people are suffering serious injuries in road smashes.

Figures released by the Department for Transport show that there were 30 deaths on the roads in South Yorkshire in 2011, compared to 34 in 2010.

However, 441 people were seriously injured in collisions in 2011, compared to 401 the year before.

The number of people suffering slight injuries went down from 4,493 to 4,388.

Safer Roads Partnership chairman Chief Superintendent Keith Lumley, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Ten years ago in 2002, 63 people died on South Yorkshire roads compared to 30 in 2011.

“This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams within the partnership to make every road user safer. Every death is a tragedy and we will strive to reduce further the numbers of people killed on our roads through what we know are successful reduction methods.

“We will continue to run initiatives that have an impact in reducing risk and casualties. These include a range of targeted, educational-based activities and road-based engineering improvements.

“Police enforcement will also target those drivers who speed, drink and drive, drive while under the influence of drugs, illegally use mobile phones, don’t wear seatbelts or drive in a dangerous manner.

“Prosecution is often a last resort, but if it is proportionate and modifies driving behaviour leading to a life being saved, then it is worth it.”

Nationally, the number of people dying on the roads went up by 3 per cent, from 1,850 in 2010 to 1,901 in 2011.

It is the first increase in road deaths for 17 years.

Serious injuries increased by 2 per cent, rising from 22,660 in 2010 to 23,122 in 2011.

Simon Best, Institute of Advanced Motorists chief executive, said: “It is unacceptable that road deaths and serious injuries rose last year, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists who saw the greatest rises.

“Road accidents usually drop during an economic recession, so this rise is particularly concerning.

“Cutting road safety education, scrapping casualty targets, and reductions in local authority spending all suggest road safety isn’t a government priority.”

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