laws police safety

South Yorkshire Police – A new low in keeping pedestrians safe

Hi Vis Hedgehog

It is already on record that South Yorkshire Police do not consider road safety to be a priority. The recently elected South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright said so at one of the very first meetings he attended.

Whilst the remit of road safety fell under the remit of the Police and Crime Commissioner, unless there was a particular road safety issue, traffic policing would not be high on the list of priorities as some other issues.

Source: Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commisioner, Police and Crime Panel Minutes 23rd November 2012

Last week in Sheffield on my doorstep an 82 year old lady was run down by a hit and run driver in a 20mph zone which is used as a through route by design. From the description it seems clear that the driver failed to give way when turning into a side road as the lady crossed the junction.

An 82-year-old woman from Burncross, Sheffield, was crossing Taplin Road close to the junction of Middlewood Road. It is believed that a silver/grey car travelling along Taplin Road towards Hillsborough Place, collided with the elderly woman, and failed to stop at the scene.

Source: South Yorkshire Police appeal

And an 8 year old girl is hit by a drunk driver on a Sheffield City Centre street.

AN eight-year-old child was rushed to hospital after being struck by a car in a Sheffield street. “The driver of the vehicle involved has been arrested on suspicion of being over the drink drive limit.”

Source: The Star 02/05/2013

And on the very same day we see local statistics released for the second UN Global Road Safety Week. As reported in The Sheffield Star newspaper:

Twelve pedestrians are killed or injured on South Yorkshire’s roads every week, according to new police figures revealed today.

Source: Sheffield Star 02/05/2013

What do the police have to say in response to this when approached for a comment?

PC Mick Hedges from South Yorkshire Police, said: “I have lost count of the number of incidents I have attended where pedestrians have been unnecessarily killed or injured.
“It takes very little effort to follow these four simple steps – stop, look, listen and think. Parents can also play their part and teach their children by example.
Officers from the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership will … provide training in schools and urge youngsters to wear bright, reflective clothing.

Source: Sheffield Star 02/05/2013

Is anyone else concerned by this attitude or is it just me? I would much rather the police in Sheffield and South Yorkshire stopped with the victim blaming and focused on the true causes of these casualties as identified by the World Health Organisation.

web_button_white_200pxEach year, more than 270 000 pedestrians lose their lives on the world’s roads. Many leave their homes as they would on any given day never to return. Globally, pedestrians constitute 22% of all road traffic fatalities.

The key risks to pedestrians are well documented, and they include issues related to a broad range of factors: driver behaviour particularly in terms of speeding and drinking and driving; infrastructure in terms of a lack of dedicated facilities for pedestrians such as sidewalks, raised crosswalks and medians; and vehicle design in terms of solid vehicle fronts which are not forgiving to pedestrians should they be struck.

Source: The World Health Organisation, Pedestrian Road Safety Manual