Council chiefs' road safety vow after Sheffield man is killed by police car going above speed limit

Leslie Bingham.
Leslie Bingham.

Council chiefs have vowed to look into road safety improvements after a pensioner was knocked down and killed by a police car going above the speed limit.

Leslie Bingham, aged 73, was hit by a marked police vehicle while walking across a pedestrian crossing on Penistone Road as he made his way to Owlerton Greyhound Stadium to celebrate his granddaughter Katie's 21st birthday.

The scene of the collision.

The scene of the collision.

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An inquest heard a police Vauxhall Antara SUV driven by PC Stephen Hazelhurst - which had no blue flashing lights or sirens on as it was not responding to an emergency - was travelling at 41mph in a 30mph zone just prior to the collision.

A jury at the hearing described the multiple pedestrian crossings at the scene as "very confusing."

Coroner Christopher Dorries also vowed to write to Sheffield Council asking them to look at how they are set up.

And Mr Bingham's family called for urgent action to make the crossing safe amid fears there could be another fatal crash.

The authority has now said it will look into how the pedestrian crossings are positioned - with a view to moving them if it would make the area safer.

A spokesperson said: "We would like to take this opportunity to pass on our sincere sympathy to Mr Bingham’s family. The council will now work with the police and coroner to do all we can to make this crossing safe.”

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Mr Bingham's daughter Angela Pilkington earlier this week urged drivers to slow their speed and called for the authorities to make it clearer which crossing pedestrians should use.

She said: "Our only hope now is that dad's death acts as a warning to other drivers, whether police officers or not, about the consequences of travelling above the speed limit."

Mr Bingham, a former metal worker of Malin Bridge, died of multiple injuries at the scene following the collision on Saturday, January 7, at 6.20pm last year.

A jury inquest held at Sheffield Medico Legal Centre on Tuesday recorded a narrative conclusion.

They said the speed of the vehicle plus Mr Bingham's clothing set against the buildings in the background would probably have affected the driver's visibility. They also described the multiple pedestrian crossings at the scene as "very confusing."

The Independent Office for Police Conduct revealed PC Hazelhurst was brought before a misconduct meeting in December.

He was found to have 'breached the standards of professional behaviour' and was given management advice and ordered to complete a bespoke driver training course.

The IOPC added that the officer was interviewed under criminal caution but chose not to answer any of the questions put to him. A pre-prepared statement was given instead.

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A spokesperson also revealed evidence was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service last July but they "made the decision not to bring criminal charges."

Ms Pilkington told how the family feels "disappointed" that nobody has been charged over the incident.