A fixed penalty for ‘careless driving’ or speeding is issued in Yorkshire every seven minutes, Huddersfield road safety charity Brake has revealed.

The level of poor driving has been exposed as the charity launches a new campaign for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to look out for each other.

Drivers flouting the law in Kirklees were fined more than 5,200 times in 2013 – more than 14 per day – but Brake says more needs to be done to prevent the five deaths and 61 serious injuries that happen every day on UK roads.

Brake says two thirds of people (65%) think roads in their community are dangerous for walking and cycling with a third (35%) of primary school children in Yorkshire saying they have been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while on foot or bike.

The charity has repeated its call for more 20mph zones in communities and says motorists should take more time at junctions and bends and give people more room and consideration.

The campaign is being backed by many bereaved families and injury victims, including the parents of Adam O’Toole, 18, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver on New Hey Road while walking to Huddersfield New College in 2007.

Adam’s mother Beverley O’Toole said: “The driver of that car not only took my son’s life – he ended mine. Adam was my life.

“Whatever road you are on, whatever vehicle you are driving, you should always be aware of other road users when you get behind the wheel.

“You are in charge of that vehicle, and if you don’t drive slowly, and with care and consideration, you can become a killer. So please, look out for each other on our roads.”

Flowers left at the crossing in New Hey Road, Salendine Nook, in 2008 where Adam O'Toole was killed the year before
Flowers left at the crossing in New Hey Road, Salendine Nook, in 2008 where Adam O'Toole was killed the year before
 

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: “When drivers use roads without care for others the consequences can be tragic and horrific – people killed and badly injured, lives ruined forever, because of a moment of impatience or selfishness.

“At Brake we witness the suffering that results, daily, through our work supporting people affected by road death and injury.

“And there are wider consequences if we don’t look out for each other on roads. People are afraid to walk and cycle or let their kids walk and cycle, and unable to get out and enjoy their community and live active lifestyles.

“That’s why, instead of making our streets stressful, risky places, we’re asking all road users to look out for and protect each other.

“Ultimately, we’re all just human beings trying to get around, with equal right to use the roads, not competing tribes.”

Figures released by Brake show a total of 5,151 Kirklees drivers were given speeding fines and further 88 were given fixed penalties for careless driving with hotspots being Huddersfield town centre, HD2 (Fartown, Deighton and Bradley), WF13 (Ravensthorpe and west Dewsbury) and WF17 (Birstall and Batley).

Speeding was most common in the HD8 postcode, home to some of Huddersfield’s most notorious accident blackspots, including Wakefield Road through Lepton and the infamous Sovereign crossroads near Shepley.

More than 1,100 of the fines – almost one in five of the total – were dished out in the two rural postcodes surrounding Denby Dale (HD8) and Holmfirth (HD9).