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Bradford road safety campaign will be Bilal's legacy
7:00am Monday 11th February 2013 in News
A new road safety campaign at schools across Bradford is being planned as a legacy to a 12-year-old boy killed by a hit-and-run driver trying to flee police at high speed.
Two councillors, one a former Lord Mayor, want the campaign to provide a lasting memory to Bilal Khizar, who died in Rooley Lane, Bradford, last October.
Councillor Sher Khan (Lab, Little Horton), who has been helping Bilal's family since his death, said: “This isn’t just going to be a campaign to keep the children of Little Horton and West Bowling safe. We want it to help protect all of the district’s children – each and every young life.
“We are going to start with talking to schools in our ward areas first and then hope to roll it out to other schools. That is our aim.”
Councillor Naveeda Ikram, who served as Lord Mayor in 2011/12, described the road safety campaign for schools as Bilal's legacy.
“This is something we want to do for Bilal and for all our children,” said Coun Ikram, who also represents Labour in the Little Horton ward.
The two councillors have each contributed money to a memorial bench that will be placed close to Bilal’s home in Springwood Gardens, West Bowling.
Bradford Council’s deputy leader Councillor Imran Hussain, who is responsible for safer and stronger communities, backed the plan.
He said: “I would support any initiative that would reduce the number of tragic child deaths on the district’s roads.
“I look forward to hearing from the two councillors about their plans for the campaign.”
As reported in Friday’s Telegraph & Argus, Zain Khan, the 21-year-old driver who killed Bilal, was jailed for a total of seven and a half years for causing death by dangerous driving, dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.
The court was told Khan had sped off from police after he was stopped by police in Rooley Lane because his then girlfriend Sara Marie Hughes, also 21, who was his passenger, had been smoking cannabis.
He had travelled only 400 yards, but had reached a speed of up to 84 miles per hour in the powerful Seat when he ploughed into Bilal, who was returning home after visiting a friend.
Despite the windscreen of the car being smashed, Khan failed to stop and he sped away down the M606 colliding with another car at the Chain Bar roundabout and reaching speeds of up to 106 miles per hour on the A58.
He and Hughes, both of Halifax, later concocted a story that the car had been stolen and called police to falsely report the theft.
After the hearing, Bilal’s family told of their grief, saying that they mourn and shed tears for Bilal “every second of every day”.
They also said of Khan and Hughes: “These people need to realise how their actions have left this family completely devastated and shattered.”
Hughes, who has admitted perverting the course of justice, will next appear in court on March 7.