Urban Echo has been approached by Bradford residents and motorists complaining about the increase of dangerous drivers in the city.
Many incidents involve youngsters who are hiring high performance vehicles, often losing control resulting in fatal casualties. The increase of vehicle lease companies around the city are also worrying as many residents claim that the correct checks are not being made by the companies on customers who are not experienced enough to sit behind the high performance vehicles.
Mr Khan from Haworth Road told Urban Echo: “Even the speed cameras don’t deter these drivers from speeding. Every day we see young boys speeding in the area with brand new cars. I don’t know where they find the money to buy these cars.
“They have no respect for other motorists. Another big problem is they park parallel to one another in the middle of the road and have a chat. People are afraid to confront them because they are afraid they may be abused in the process.
Asked whether the police are doing enough to tackle the problem, Mr Khan continues: “The police can only do what they are doing. If they stop these drivers, the driver will most likely play the race card and say you are only stopping me because I am Asian.”
Mrs Smith from Heaton echoed Mr Khan’s frustration by telling us: “You can hear the revving engines at silly hours of the day. Many of these drivers don’t even look old enough to hold a licence. I don’t understand how they can hold of these cars. Another example is running red lights. It’s as though the law doesn’t apply to them.”
Last month, a seventeen year old died when a silver Seat Leon travelling along the Shipley Airedale Road left the road and collided with a barrier, close to the junction with Leeds Road. These accidents resulting in death have become a regular occurrence in Bradford.
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner told Urban Echo: “Road safety is a key priority and will feature prominently in my new Police and Crime Plan which will be released shortly. The Plan has been written following an extensive consultation where the public, police and partners told me what their policing priorities were.
“There are already a number of initiatives targeting anti-social driving in Bradford. Operation Steerside is currently running and is a concerted effort to target those that are committing numerous road safety and traffic offences, including anti-social behaviour. Thousands of people have been caught and dealt with since it launched in February this year.
“There is a Bradford District Anti-Social Behaviour Bike Team who specifically target off-road vehicles that are operated in an illegal or anti-social manner. The team have had some great success and reports can be made to them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or the non-emergency 101 number. There is also an answer machine facility on 01274 373968.
“A partnership operation between primary schools and the police has launched in Bradford this week to tackle illegal and inconsiderate parking outside schools. The initiative which will run throughout the autumn term aims to reduce the amount of inconsiderate parking that occurs at drop off and pick up times. The crackdown has begun as a direct response to complaints about the problem from residents, parents and schools.
“I have invested in Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology across our county with some impressive convictions and outcomes. I also have representation on the Safer Roads Partnership which is a partnership of all 5 districts working together to tackle road safety. I have supported and funded various road safety initiatives such as a road safety DVD ‘It’ll End in Tears’, baby safety campaign ‘Strap Me Not Wrap Me’, ‘Safer Travel West Yorkshire’ with Metro and the road safety charity ‘BRAKE’.
“I have listened and will continue to listen and act on what the public tell me is important to them.”