Road safety experts and police forces in South Yorkshire and Humberside have united to launch a new road safety initiative in response to a steep rise in road deaths in the area.

The South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership has launched ‘Operation Illuminate’ after the number of fatal collisions in the area almost doubled from 26 in 2014 to 48 last year.

The initiative aims to improve road safety across the county and reduce the number of road traffic accidents in the area through better education for drivers and improved casualty reduction training for police officers.

The road safety initiative will also identify ‘at risk’ routes and locations around the county which will be targeted by police officers using specialist equipment and enforcement.

Latest statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that UK wide, road deaths were up by three percent in the year ending September 2015, compared to the previous year.

Helen Shakespeare, a serious injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Sheffield office, said: “To learn that the number of people killed on South Yorkshire roads almost doubled in the space of just 12 months is a sobering statistic that warrants much needed action.

“‘Operation Illuminate’ is a welcome initiative in response to the horrifying rise in road deaths in the area and it is vitally important that police forces across South Yorkshire, and UK-wide, are fully supported to implement road safety initiatives such as this one.

“Without proper government resource, police forces are hampered in their ability to apprehend and prosecute offending drivers, and as a consequence we fear road deaths will continue to rise.”