With traffic levels back to pre-Covid numbers, South Yorkshire road users are being urged to join forces and ‘stand up to the night’ this Winter.
The clocks are set to go back at 2am on Sunday 31 October meaning darker mornings and evenings are right around the corner. This brings an increase in the number of challenges on the roads.
South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) is asking everyone to come together to ‘Light Up Our Roads’ and stay safe during lower lighting and wintery weather.
Joanne Wehrle, SYSRP manager, said: “While it can be cosy and festive inside during the Winter months, outside on our roads there can be extra challenges which require much more of our attention.
“Visibility becomes an issue due to the shorter days, frost and wet weather impacts on road surfaces and windscreens and after several lockdowns, some of us are all still getting used to being back out and about in busy rush-hour traffic.
“If we can all do our bit, then we have a much better chance of standing up to the darkness and reducing collisions and casualties on Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield road networks.”
Between October and December 2020, 183 people were killed or seriously injured on South Yorkshire’s roads. Of those, 97 were car drivers or passengers, 48 were pedestrians, 16 were cyclists and 16 were motorcyclists.
“No matter what kind of road user we are, we all have responsibilities and we all have rules to follow,” added Joanne.
“If you drive, then there are lots of things you can do to protect yourself and others around you. Take extra time at junctions, take more time to scan the road around you looking for other vehicles, riders and pedestrians.
“Make an extra effort to make those checks in familiar areas where your brain may be on auto-pilot. Make sure all your lights are working before you set off to help you see and be seen.
“Cyclists and motorcyclists also need to check their lights are working and, depending on the time of day, wear clothing that helps you to stand out and protect you against the conditions.
“Pedestrians can also choose reflective clothing for low lighting or bright colours during grey days, that will help them be more visible to other road users.”
Children and their families, on the morning school run, are particularly vulnerable at this time of year and as part of SYSRP’s work in schools, our Bright Squad animations are being used to promote the Be Bright Be Seen campaign.
“During our school visits we hand our reflective bag straps, keyrings and zip pulls as well as introducing children to the Bright Squad – our heroes of darkness,” said Joanne.
“Drivers absolutely have a responsibility to take extra care around schools and high-footfall areas, but we can also take steps to help protect our children and help them to be seen.
“Using our roads during the winter months is not easy and it’s important for everyone to remember that. We will be dedicating our social media channels to tips and advice to help keep everyone safe and to remind everyone of the Highway Code.”
To find out more follow our #lightup @SYSaferRoads