But while the Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of student life, one thing remains constant – the need to stay safe on our city’s roads.
South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) is back for Welcome Week 2020 with its ‘dance in the club, not on the road’ campaign in the hope that it will prevent young adult pedestrians being involved in collisions.
Joanne Wehrle, SYSRP manager, said: “Covid-19 has changed so many aspects of student life and freshers week will look very different this year with additional safety measures in place.
“But even with the Government’s restrictions, including sticking to the ‘rule of six’, we expect students will be taking part in some night-time socialising and welcome events.
“That’s why like every other year, we want to remind them of the need to get home safely, look out for each other and plan ahead no matter where you are heading.
“This way we can prevent any needless pain and suffering and avoid that dreaded call home to loved ones that could change their lives forever.”
In 2019, there were 58 17-24-year-old pedestrian casualties in South Yorkshire – of those, 30 were in Sheffield.
“Many students will be away from home for the first time in their lives and the city and its road network will be unfamiliar to them.
"We want to get the message out to young people to look properly before crossing the road and to look out for their mates as well, to make sure everyone gets home safely."
The partnership is also reminding city centre drivers about the increase in the number of pedestrians in Sheffield over the coming weeks.
“Please be vigilant and remember that a lot of students are in unfamiliar surroundings,” added Joanne.
“Give yourself extra time, stick to the speed limit and don’t be distracted by your mobile phone or other people in your car.”
Our tips for students:
· Plan your route before you set out. Can you avoid busy roads or choose a route with pedestrian crossings?
· If possible avoid peak road times if you can, when the traffic is busiest
· Look out for yourself, concentrate and be aware of what is going on around you
· Always stay on the pavements and check for traffic before stepping out
· Avoid crossing on blind corners and between parked vehicles
· Use pedestrian crossings wherever possible, they are provided for your safety
· Take extra care when crossing the road when under the influence of alcohol or if with friends that have been drinking, look out for each other
· Listening to music or using your mobile phones can be a distraction while crossing the road, simply put them to one side till after you have crossed
· Be aware of vehicles in busy areas, such as car parking spaces near shops, where drivers may be distracted and if reversing may have limited visibility and may not see you
· Drivers - watch out for pedestrians crossing a road into which you are turning. If they have started to cross they have priority, so give way
You can find more information about being a safe pedestrian via www.sysrp.co.uk/pedestrians