Don't drive into danger

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has joined forces with councils across West Yorkshire to call for drivers to kill their speed.

Many motorists will keep to the road’s speed limit, but due to heavy traffic, road and weather conditions, or pedestrian activity, even that may be dangerously too fast. Motorists who drive at inappropriate speeds, i.e. too fast for the conditions, are more likely to crash and their higher speed means that the crash will cause more severe injuries to all involved.[i]

Last year, for every person injured and/or rescued from a fire by West Yorkshire firefighters, there were five people injured and/or rescued in road traffic collisions. [ii] For this reason, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging drivers to consider the consequences of their actions behind the wheel.

ACO Craig McIntosh, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Director of Fire Safety, said: “Firefighters see all too often the devastating consequences of motorists who break the speed limit and drive too fast for the conditions. Many tragedies could sadly have been prevented if the driver had taken due care and considered other road users.”

Sue Snoddy, of the West Yorkshire Safer Roads Delivery Group, said: “Driving over the speed limit is against the law and carries a minimum penalty of £60 fine and three penalty points. Worse than this, it can mean the difference between life and death. Speed is one of the main factors in fatal accidents.”

Consider the following advice:

Drive to suit the road conditions.

In some conditions, even driving at the speed limit could be too fast. Factors which affect this include fog, rain, traffic flow and pedestrians.

• Don’t assume it’s safe to break the speed limit on rural roads because there is less traffic or an open road ahead.

There may be unexpected hazards, such as blind bends, vehicles coming out of junctions and animals on the road.

• Consider the consequences of causing an accident due to driving too fast.

You will have to live with the physical and emotional consequences, assuming you survive the collision.

Winter driving advice is currently available at www.westyorksfire.gov.uk or visit

http://www.brake.org.uk/resources/advice.htm 

Note: Organisations involved in the West Yorkshire Safer Roads Delivery Group are West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Yorkshire Police, Bradford Council, Leeds Council, Wakefield Council, Calderdale Council and Kirklees Council.

[i] Source: Road safety information provided by ROSPA, December 2011.

[ii] 2011 statistics from WYFRS based on 531 rescues/injuries from 3,763 primary fires (0.14) and 664 rescues/injuries from 881 RTCs (0.75).