More than 250 young pedestrians injured on Sheffield's roads in five years

One of the posters produced for the new road safety campaign

One of the posters produced for the new road safety campaign

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More than 250 young pedestrians have been injured in collisions on Sheffield's streets in five years, it has emerged.

The figure was highlighted as part of a campaign to remind festive revellers to stay safe as the party season hots up in the approach to Christmas.

Bars, clubs and pubs across Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley are being plastered with cautionary posters for the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership's 'Be A Safe Pedestrian' awareness drive.

The seasonal publicity blitz, which is also being rolled out across social media, is geared towards 18 to 24-year-olds - especially students celebrating in the run-up to Christmas - who account for a large proportion of night-time road casualties.

In the five years from 2011 to 2015, 447 pedestrians from this age group were wounded in collisions across South Yorkshire, including 251 in Sheffield, according to figures highlighted by Sheffield Council.

Joanne Wehrle, the partnership's safer roads education manager, said: "After a few drinks it is not uncommon to see groups of young people in all our towns and cities spilling out onto the road without a thought for their own safety or for passing vehicle drivers.

"The poster is simply reminding them about basic road safety in order to keep themselves and their friends safe. If they don’t, they risk becoming a road casualty statistic and all that means for themselves and their families.

"Drivers need to be careful too. They need to remember that some young pedestrians might not be able to think quickly and sensibly as they should."

Sheffield Council said police records suggested alcohol was frequently a contributing cause in collisions involving young people. It said other common factors included the pedestrian or driver failing to look properly and pedestrians crossing where they were concealed by parked or stationary vehicles.

The awareness campaign was devised in collaboration with students, who recommended the toilets of popular nightspots as the most effective place to display the posters.

Davey Silver, welfare and community officer at Sheffield Hallam Students' Union, said: "For a variety of reasons, young pedestrians are at an increased risk of being involved in this type of incident, and we welcome these efforts to keep both pedestrians and road users safe during this time of year.

"Whilst we'd encourage everyone to enjoy themselves and take advantage of what South Yorkshire has to offer throughout the festive period, it is important to remember these simple messages to help keep yourselves and others out of danger."

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