CONCERNS have been voiced over a rise in the number of serious road crashes firefighters have been called to across the district.

Fire crews are often called to more-serious road traffic collisions (RTCs) to help free trapped casualties from vehicles.

At a meeting of West Yorkshire Fire Authority’s community safety committee, members were given an update on the number of crashes the service had been called to in the past 12 months.

One councillor said Bradford district seemed to have a disproportionately high number of serious crashes compared to other areas.

The report said across West Yorkshire, the service attended 576 RTCs between April 2023 and last month, with crashes accounting for two per cent of all brigade emergency call-outs.

The RTCs resulted in 444 injuries and 15 fatalities.

Referring to incidents in Bradford district, the report said crews attended 144 RTCs – 29 more than the three-year average.

There were 100 injuries and four fatalities.

Forty of the incidents had required firefighters to employ "full extrication techniques" to rescue casualties.

Scott Donegan, area manager for prevention and response with West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, said one of the ventures aimed at reducing crashes is a ‘Fast, Furious and Fatal’ campaign – where firefighters work with young people to teach them about the potential consequences of dangerous and careless driving.

Sessions to warn young people about dangers associated with riding e-scooters and e-bikes were also being rolled out.

Mr Donegan pointed out that West Yorkshire has 100 miles of motorway and 6,000 miles of other roads.

Councillor Mike Pollard said a 'heat map' of traffic incidents provided to members showed Bradford was a particular hotspot.

He said that whilst Leeds also showed a high number of accidents, it was a city with a bigger population than Bradford.

Cllr Pollard added: “Bradford looks disturbingly red. I know Operation Steerside continues to do good work, but is there anything we can do about this other than youth interventions?”

Mr Donegan said: “It is linked to population size, but it is also linked to deprivation.

“We do support Steerside and other campaigns – we had some success with a nitrous oxide initiative which led to it being classed as a controlled substance.

“A lot of the work we do is going into schools, talking to 16-and-17-year-olds who are about to learn to drive about road safety and the consequences of dangerous driving.”