'˜Maniac' drivers make Sheffield road a death trap
Residents on a busy Sheffield road say '˜maniac' motorists are causing a '˜death trap' after two cars were caught doing more than 100mph in the residential area.
Figures obtained by the Institute of Advance Motorists reveal that two police cars were clocked by a speed camera on Prince of Wales Road, near the Mater Road junction, Darnall, driving more than 100mph in the 40mph zone.
Police have confirmed that on both occasions officers were responding to an emergency and the speeds – 102mph and 103mph – were justified.
But in the wake of the findings, obtained through Freedom of Information, residents on the road have branded it a ‘death trap – constantly blighted by speeding drivers.
Patricia McNulty said: “The drivers are like maniacs – they come like mad down this road. If I don’t get my car out at just the right time in the morning, it’s impossible for me to get out of my drive.
“The road is a death trap, there have been so many accidents over the years.”
Jake Duckenfield, aged 20, said: “I’m surprised they even managed to get that fast. It’s a stupid speed for this road.
“It’s a dangerous road as it is, with all the crossings and junctions.
“Everyone knows exactly where the cameras are along here too, so they don’t usually stop people speeding.”
Joan Harrison, 81, said: “I’ve lived here for over 50 years and I’m so used to seeing cars speeding up and down here.
“It’s very dangerous, there has been lots of accidents.”
Sheila Webb, 79, said: “I wish people would stick to the speed limit.”
Kevin Bennett, manager for prosecution and inquiries at South Yorkshire Safety Camera Division, said the two cars caught travelling at more than 100mph on Prince of Wales Road in Sheffield were both police cars.
He said: “Those readings were brought about by both cars going to emergency incidents.
“In both cases the drivers have been up in front of a chief inspector to review whether or not they should have been travelling at that speed, and in both cases it was agreed that they were travelling at that speed for proper, lawful reasons.”
It is understood that one of the cases involved an officer responding to a call about a robbery.
The figures also reveal that one motorist was caught doing 100mph on the A616 towards Stocksbridge, which is a 60mph zone. Another motorist was caught doing 99mph on the M1 northbound, between junction 34 and 35.
A speed camera also clocked a motorist driving at 109mph in a 40mph zone on the A638 York Road near Pipering Lane West, in Doncaster. The driver has not been caught.
Roads Policing Inspector Steve Askham said: “Excessive and inappropriate speeding can be a significant contributory factor in fatal and serious injury road traffic collisions, that often results in distress and heartache for the speeding driver’s victim, their family and loved ones.
“South Yorkshire Police take a robust approach to tackling speeding drivers and launched Operation Illuminate last month (February) in collaboration with Humberside police.
“Illuminate focuses on speeding, driver behaviour, not driving to the road conditions and driving whilst being over the prescribed limit (alcohol and drugs) as well others factors, with the main aim of the op to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads through education, partnership intervention work, enforcement and targeting specific roads across the county.
“Police officers on occasion do use excess speed when attending emergency situations and critical incidents, however officers are trained to nationally agreed, police driver training programme standards, which are exceptionally high, to competently fulfil their operational driving role.
“The standards are nationally reviewed and refined to ensure that they meet the needs of modern policing.
“Drivers who are trained to this standard and who are deemed to be in an emergency response, for example blue lights enabled, may make use of exemptions afforded to them by legislation under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, which includes being exempt from speed limits.
“The training officers undergo enable them to take a calculated and methodical approach to driving in an emergency response to ensure they are able to fulfil their duties in protecting the public. In respect of the police officers on Prince of Wales Road, the officers were responding to emergency incidents requiring an immediate response.”