South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
14 Sep 2021

As young people head back to college and university, road safety officers will be doing their own ‘campus crawl’ in a bid to keep the subject ‘fresh’ in students’ minds.

In our county last year, 522 young adults were involved in a road traffic collision and statistically, 17 to 24-year-olds are one of the most at risk age groups whether they are a pedestrian, driver, cyclist or rider.

With Freshers events taking place across our county, the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) will be talking to students about subjects including drink and drug driving, pedestrian safety, distractions and peer pressure.

Joanne Wehrle, manager of SYSRP, said: “September is an exciting but daunting month for many of our students who are in new surroundings, meeting new friends and having new experiences.

“This can all be very distracting, but we are urging young people to keep their focus on what is happening on the road and to look out for their mates.

“The last thing anyone wants is to find out is that their loved one has been involved in a road traffic collision which is why we want to reach out to as many students as possible.”

Safer Roads officers will be at Freshers events in Hillsborough and Sheffield City Centre this week. As well as providing information on powered-two-wheelers, cycling and driving, the team will be handing out a limited number of free grab bags which contain practical resources.

Students will also be signposted to free on-line learning tools ranging from Highway Code revision materials to YouTube tutorials on bike and cycle maintenance.

Tracy Hendry, Young Driver Co-Ordinator for South Yorkshire, said it was important for the whole family to be involved in educating young adults about road safety.

“Moving to a college or work placement is a massive life-changing event for young adults who are a high-risk group, whether on foot, two or four wheels,” she said.

“Parents, family, guardians and friends can all play a big part during such a hectic period, by pointing them towards the free help and advice we can offer on-line.

“Let’s get all our Freshers back into education safely and all do out bit to share the roads.”

Throughout the Freshers’ period, the Partnership is also running targeted social media ads featuring animated characters which will also appear on pub screens, at bus stops and on road-side screens.

Subjects include:

  • Planning your journey home after a night out

  • Making sure your friends get home safely

  • The dangers of being distracted by music or your mobile phone while crossing the road

  • Driving or riding under the influence of drink or drugs (think about being over the limit the morning after as well)

  • The importance of wearing a seatbelt

  • Travelling to the conditions of the road – don’t be pressured into driving above the speed limit

You can follow the campaign #freshers2021 on facebook, Twitter and Instagram @SYSaferRoads.