The number of people killed on South Yorkshire roads has doubled since last year – with 49 lives claimed on the county’s roads.
Figures released by South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership today show that, despite the number of casualties overall falling in 2015, fatalities increased in every area of the county.
In Sheffield the number of deaths increased from eight to 15, a rise of 87 per cent. In Doncaster deaths rose from 10 to 19, 90 per cent.
In Rotherham there was a 100 per cent increase from six to 12. In Barnsley the number of deaths rose from two to three, which is 50 per cent.
Compared to the 2005-2009 average, the number of fatalities did actually reduce by 5.8 per cent, however.
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said he was disappointed by the figures.
He said: “The increase in the number of fatal casualties is disappointing, especially as the number of casualties overall has reduced.
“We are puzzled about the increase. It could just be statistics, but we will be examining the figures.”
Joanne Wehrle, of the Safer Roads Partnership, said the main causes fatal road accidents are speed, not driving to the road conditions, driver behaviour such as using a mobile phone at the wheel, not wearing a seatbelt and driving whilst being over the prescribed limit for alcohol or drugs.
She said: “Although fewer people were injured last year compared to 2014, we were very disappointed to see that the number of people who were killed actually rose.
“A total of 49 people of all ages lost their lives as the result of road traffic collisions across the county – 23 more than in 2014.
“This is extremely sad because any fatality is one too many and they leave a trail of devastation for family and friends left behind.”Between 2014-15, there was a 20.5 per cent reduction in serious casualties and a 2.2 per cent reduction in slight casualties.
Last year saw a total of 4,401 casualties arising from 3,066 collisions on the roads in South Yorkshire – a drop of 3.4 percent.
Some 352 people were seriously injured in road accidents, which were 91 less than in 2014. Fewer people – 4,000 - were also slightly injured in 2015, compared to 4,088 in 2014.
There was a 3.2 per cent drop in the number of road collisions involving personal injury to 3,066. Of these, 359 involved fatal or serious injuries - 59 less than the year before.
A total of 49 people were killed, which was 23 more than the year before (2014) and which saw each of the four districts suffering an increase. Doncaster had the highest number of fatal casualties – 19, while Sheffield suffered 15, Rotherham 12 and Barnsley three.
Although each local authority area in South Yorkshire saw an increase in fatal casualties, each district also experienced a drop in the number of seriously injured compared to the year before, with both Sheffield and Doncaster having the lowest totals on record.
As in previous years, car users - drivers and passengers - experienced the highest number of casualties, although these fell from 3,026 to 2,988 in 2015. The number of car users killed or seriously injured fell to 137 but unfortunately, the number of fatal car user casualties increased to 28 in 2015, which accounted for more than half – 53 per cent – of all fatalities across the county.
Also as in previous years, car occupants were the largest casualty type at 34 per cent of all casualties, with pedestrians in second place at 29 per cent, motorcyclists at 24 per cent and pedal cycles at 11 per cent.
The number of pedestrian casualties dropped by 7.5 per cent to 570. However, the number of pedestrians getting killed increased by two to 11.
The number of casualties involving powered two wheelers – motorbikes and scooters – increased by 12 to 302 last year. The number of killed and seriously injured fell to 96 but with nine of these being fatal, seven more than in 2014.
All pedal cyclist casualties fell to 300 in 2015, along with the killed and seriously injured total falling from 57 to 44. Unfortunately, however, one pedal cyclist was killed in 2015.
There was a decrease in the number of children and young people killed or seriously injured in South Yorkshire in 2015. A total of 74, 45 of whom were pedestrians, were seriously injured – a drop of 6.2 per cent, and four were killed.