As the country gears up for ‘freedom day’ and a long-awaited end to lockdown, South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) is urging road users to be cautious and ‘do the right thing’ when it comes to speed.
Nationally, excess speed is a contributory factor in one in three fatal road collisions.
With all restrictions expected to be lifted today (19 July), The Partnership is supporting a three-week national campaign putting the spotlight on dangerous and inappropriate speeds.
The Slow Down Save Lives campaign aims to remind people of the risks and consequences of speeding and encourage them to slow down, stick to the limit and travel to the conditions of the road.
Joanne Wehrle, manager for SYSRP, said: “Speed does kill. It sounds shocking but it is true, and this campaign is all about reminding people that if you do the right thing – you will save lives.
“Ultimately, drivers and riders who are travelling at inappropriate speeds are more likely to crash and their higher speed means the crash will cause more severe injuries, to themselves and/or to other road users.
“With restrictions about to be lifted, we want people to be able to enjoy their new-found freedom and make the last year count, don’t let speeding cost you your licence, your job or even worse.
Latest figures show that 2,644 people were injured in a road traffic collision in South Yorkshire in 2020. Sadly, 30 people lost their lives and more than 500 people were seriously injured.
Studies by national charity Brake show that lowering your speed by just 1mph, reduces your chances of being involved in a collision by five per cent.
“We know that during the first part of lockdown, there were some excessive speeds recorded on our roads and sadly, there are people out there who continue to break the law,” added Joanne.
“Whether you’re running late, travelling too fast for the conditions or deliberately driving over the speed limit, the fact is you are more likely to be involved in a serious collision.
“Plan your journey, give yourself extra time, make better choices and don’t take risks. Consider all other road users and look out for pedestrians and cyclists, slowing down as you pass them.
“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.”
The three-week initiative is part of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) campaign calendar and will feature on digital billboards across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield as well as on social media.
During the previous speed campaign in May 2020, 298 motorists were stopped by South Yorkshire Police officers, 126 verbal warnings were given, 145 fixed penalty notices were issued and eight people were reported on summons.
Roads Policing Group (RPG) Inspector Jason Booth said: “We are all taught about the dangers of speeding, yet so many people choose to put themselves and others at risk behind the wheel.
“As part of Op Illuminate, officers in the RPG regularly enforce the ‘Fatal four’ causes of road collisions, which are; speeding, using a mobile phone behind the wheel, drink / drug driving and not wearing a seatbelt.
“Throughout the campaign our officers will be conducting additional speed checks across the county, targeting locations causing community concern and roads with a higher incidence of reported collisions.
“I would urge all drivers to think twice before driving at excessive speeds, drive to both the speed limit and road conditions at that time. If you don’t, the consequences can be devastating for you and other road users.”
The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and 3 penalty points added to your licence.
You can follow our campaign #slowdownsavelives on social media @SYSaferRoads.
For more information on the law visit: sysrp.co.uk/Speed