28 November 2016

A campaign has been launched which aims to keep revellers safe on the streets of South Yorkshire over the festive season.

The “Be A Safe Pedestrian” publicity drive, funded by the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, was launched last month across social media. Posters are set to be put up in more than 40 bars, clubs and pubs across Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley in the coming weeks.

Joanne Wehrle, Safer Roads Education Manager for the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said the campaign, now in its third year, is geared to young people, particularly students, who will be celebrating the run-up up to Christmas and the end of term with nights out.

She said: “We have been working closely with Sheffield Hallam University Students Union on this and listening to the views of students, who said that the best way to get messages out to people like them was through posters in the toilets of pubs and clubs – so this is what we decided to do.

“After a few drinks it is not uncommon to see groups of young people in all our towns and cities spilling out onto the road without a thought for their own safety or for passing vehicle drivers.

“The poster is simply reminding them about basic road safety in order to keep themselves and their friends safe. If they don’t, they risk becoming a road casualty statistic and all that means for themselves and their families.

“Drivers need to be careful too. They need to remember that some young pedestrians might not be able to think quickly and sensibly as they should.”

The campaign is being specifically aimed at young people aged between 18 and 24 who, according to statistics, are particularly vulnerable pedestrians at night.

Latest figures reveal that in the five-year period from 2011 to 2015 there were 447 casualties of this type on the roads of South Yorkshire, the majority of which, 251, involved someone being injured in Sheffield.

The main factors said to have contributed towards these collisions – as recorded by the police officer at the scene – included the pedestrian failing to look properly, the pedestrian being impaired by alcohol, the pedestrian being careless, the driver failing to look properly and the pedestrian crossing the road in a position that was masked by a stationary or parked vehicle.

Davey Silver, Welfare and Community Officer at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union, said: “We’ve been very happy to work with Sheffield City Council on this campaign, which will benefit young people across the whole of South Yorkshire.

“For a variety of reasons, young pedestrians are at an increased risk of being involved in this type of incident, and we welcome these efforts to keep both pedestrians and road users safe during this time of year.

“Whilst we’d encourage everyone to enjoy themselves and take advantage of what South Yorkshire has to offer throughout the festive period, it is important to remember these simple messages to help keep yourselves and others out of danger.”