South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
  • Drivers and passengers


    Being able to drive provides people with the freedom to travel for work, business or leisure, but we sometimes forget the great responsibility that comes with driving and the affects a moments lapse could have on ourselves or other people.  The South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) aims to educate and provide free advice for all drivers of all ages.

    As a driver there are a number of tips that you can follow:

    • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may still be over the limit the morning after
    • Always wear your seatbelt and ensure your passengers use the one appropriate for their seating position
    • As a passenger do not distract the driver when they are driving
    • Unless otherwise signed, streetlights mean 30mph 
    • Bad weather and poor visibility mean even slower road speeds
    • Never use your mobile/smart phone or device while driving
    • After every journey, just take a few moments to think, 'if that was my test would I have passed?'
  • Winter driving and riding

    Icy car

    In icy or snowy weather we advise that you do not travel unless your journey is essential. If you do decide to travel, take extra care and allow more time for your journey. When driving or riding in wintry weather:

    • Before setting off, check the news and weather to see if there is anything that may affect your journey - adverse weather, traffic reports or road closures. Bear in mind that weather conditions may be different at your destination.
    • Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy. In particular check that all your lights are working and that your tyres are in good condition.
    • Before you pull away ensure that all your windows are clear of ice and snow. Make sure that your windows and mirrors are demisted thoroughly. Remove excess snow and ice from your roof and bonnet which could fall into the path of other road users.
    • If you are riding a motorbike or bicycle ensure that your lights and brakes are working correctly, and consider wearing something both bright and reflective so that you can be easily seen by other road users.
    • Be extra vigilant in rainy or snowy weather, or if the road is icy. Always drive at a speed which is appropriate to the road conditions, driving in as high a gear as possible, accelerating and braking very gently. Stopping distances can be up to ten times greater in icy conditions.
    • Look out for motorcyclists and pedal cyclists who may have to swerve suddenly to avoid ice patches or other obstructions. Give gritter lorries plenty of room to operate if they are spreading salt and pass them with care if you are overtaking them.
    • In urban areas take extra care when manoeuvring around parked vehicles and when approaching pedestrian crossings and junctions. On rural routes drive with care when approaching bends and for unexpected hazards.


    It is also recommended that you keep an emergency kit with your vehicle which includes a blanket, warm clothing and waterproof boots, a first aid kit, de-icer, and an ice scraper. A warm drink and some food supplies may also come in useful in the event you are delayed or your vehicle breaks down.


    Adapted from The Highway Code, rules 228-231.

  • Speed

    Driving or riding too fast for the road conditions contributes to one third of road collisions. The speed limit is the absolute maximum and does not mean that it is safe to drive or ride at that speed in all conditions. Factors such as the weather, the state of the road and time of day should be considered when choosing what speed to travel at.

    The faster someone is driving, the longer it will take them to stop if something unexpected happens.

    Consider the consequences of causing an accident due to travelling at excessive speed. You will have to live with the emotional consequences of deaths or injuries caused to others.

    Stopping distances

    In wet weather the stopping distances are at least double that of when it is dry. In icy conditions it can be as much as ten times greater than on dry roads.

    In built up areas with streetlights the speed limit, unless otherwise stated, is 30mph. Be aware of pedestrians or parked vehicles which may suddenly move off or pull out in front of you. Travelling at a lower speed will give you more time to recognise and react to hazards.

    On country roads there may be unexpected hazards such as blind bends, blind summits, hidden dips and agricultural traffic.
    These tips will help you avoid falling into the habit of driving or riding too fast:

    • Plan your time and journey so that you aren’t running late
    • Be aware of your surroundings, the more aware you are of the speed limit the less likely you are to inadvertently speed
    • Learn the typical stopping distances for a vehicle travelling at different speeds.


    The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and 3 penalty points added to your licence. More details about speeding penalties can be found on HM Government website.

  • Drink driving/riding

    There is no safe limit for the amount of alcohol you can have before driving. There is also no way of knowing how long it will take for alcohol to be processed by your body.

    If you drink, don't driveEven a small amount of alcohol can affect your reaction times. Though there is a legal limit to how much alcohol can be in a person’s system before they can drive, it is impossible to say how many drinks or units it will take to reach it. It is also possible to still be over the legal limit the following day. An average liver can process approximately one unit of alcohol per hour, starting one hour after drinking has stopped. This means that if someone drinks 12 units, it can take them roughly 13 hours to fully sober up.

    If you are caught you may banned from driving, have points added on your licence, an unlimited fine, or even imprisonment. This will mean increased insurance costs, potential job loss and even restrictions on travel to other countries such as the United States.

    In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the legal alcohol limit for drivers is:

    • 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
    • 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
    • 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine


    In Scotland the legal limit is:

    • 22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
    • 50 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
    • 67 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine.


    You will not be able to drive anywhere in the UK if you have been banned by a UK court for drink driving.

    More information about penalties for drink driving/riding is available on the HM Government and South Yorkshire Police websites.

  • Mobile phones


    Using a handheld mobile phone when driving or riding is both dangerous and illegal.

    Independent studies have shown that drivers who use mobile phones are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards, even at slower speeds. 

    At 30 mph a vehicle will travel 13.5 metres (45ft) every second. Taking your eyes off the road to read a text or place a phone call means that you could miss someone stepping off the pavement in front of you or the car ahead braking suddenly. 

    It is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving or riding for any purpose, including using the camera, following a map or checking social media. The law still applies when stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic. 

    It is also illegal to use a handheld mobile phone when supervising a learner driver.

    You may only use a handheld mobile when you are safely parked, or if you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it is unsafe or impractical to stop.

    You can get six penalty points and a £200 fine if you use a handheld mobile phone. If you have passed your driving test in the last two years you will automatically lose your licence. You may also see an increase in vehicle insurance costs.


    Using hands-free devices, such as a Bluetooth headset or voice-operated devices is legal, however the police can stop you if they have reason to believe you are distracted, and you may be prosecuted.

    More information about guidelines and penalties for using a mobile phone while driving/riding can be found on HM Government website

  • Drug driving/riding 

    It is illegal to drive or ride if you are impaired by drugs. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines as well as illicit substances such as cannabis or cocaine.

    Your next trip might not end on a highPolice officers carry testing kits which they can use at the roadside for some illegal drugs. They may make you do a ‘field impairment test’ in which they will ask you to perform a series of tasks, such as walking in a straight line. If they think you are unfit to drive they can detain you for further blood or urine testing at a police station. 

    It is the responsibility of the driver/rider to check whether their prescription or over-the-counter drugs can affect them. Always read the label on the packaging of any medicines you are taking. If in doubt speak with a doctor or pharmacist.

    The penalties for drug driving/riding are the same as for drink driving/riding. If you are caught you may banned from driving, have points added on your licence, an unlimited fine, or even imprisonment. This will mean increased insurance costs, potential job loss and even restrictions on travel to other countries such as the United States.

    More information about penalties for drug driving/riding can be found on the HM Government and South Yorkshire Police websites.

  • Smart motorways

    The M1 between junctions 32 and 35a is a smart motorway. It uses technology, such as cameras, sensors and variable message signs to actively manage the flow of traffic.

    Smart motorways are managed by regional control centres operated by Highways England. They monitor traffic carefully and can activate and change signs and speed limits. This helps keep the traffic flowing freely.

    A sign displaying red X indicates that the lane is closed. If you see a red X closing a lane, move out of that lane promptly. If you don’t, you may receive a fine.

    A lane might be closed because there is debris in the road, or because of a person or animal on the road. We may be keeping the lane clear for the emergency services, such as an ambulance.
    It may not be immediately obvious why a lane is closed, but it is important to follow all instructions given on signs for your own safety and that of others. 


    When driving on a smart motorway:

    • never drive in a lane closed by a red “X”
    • keep to the speed limit shown on the gantries
    • a solid white line indicates the hard shoulder - don’t drive in it unless directed.
    • a broken white line indicates a normal running lane
    • if your vehicle experiences difficulties exit the smart motorway at the next available opportunity
    • use the refuge areas for emergencies if there’s no hard shoulder
    •  put your hazard lights on if you break down

    Further guidance on how to drive on a smart motorway can be found on HM Government website.

  • Free post-test training sessions


    Once you have passed your test, we can also offer some free post test sessions covering things like motorway driving, rural roads and eco-driving to help save on your fuel costs. The scheme is open to anyone living in South Yorkshire who is aged 30 years or under having passed their test within the last six months.

    Sessions are delivered by local approved driving instructor at a time which is convenient for you. 

    For more information visit the Learn Safe, Drive Safe website or contact Dave Lawson at or 07980 152 750.

  • For further information about SYSRP and our campaigns and initiatives, or if you have any queries, then contact us using this form, drop an email to or telephone 01709 832455 and ask for the Safer Roads Office.

    To keep up-to-date with our many events and initiatives around South Yorkshire then follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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