The family of a woman killed by drivers racing on a mad mile' have called on young motorists to think twice to avoid causing carnage on the roads.

Sandra Leonard, daughter of Dawn Routledge killed in a car crash after two drivers raced, was speaking after the results of a survey by campaigning group Brake were published.

The survey said nearly one-third of young people have been involved in a road race and 43 per cent have broken 30mph speed limits by 10mph or more.

The charity's survey coincides with Road Safety Week and the appalling driving standards which cost young people their lives.

The findings back the Telegraph & Argus's Be Safe Not Sorry campaign which is aimed at cutting the number of deaths on our roads.

The survey also reveals that nearly half (43 per cent) of 17 to 25-year-olds across the district have broken 30mph limits by 10mph or more with a quarter admitting to being a passenger in a car driven by a driver high on drink or drugs.

One woman, whose mother was killed in a car crash as two drivers raced, called for young drivers to think more. Sandra Leonard's mother Dawn Routledge, 68, died after the car in which she was a passenger was hit by a car driven by Janine Scarfe.

Scarfe, 25, had been racing along Highmoor Lane, Brighouse - known as the mad mile' - with Sheldon Brooks, 25, who had been driving behind her, in April, 2004.

Scarfe, of Langdale Avenue, Wyke, Bradford, and Brooks, of Carnforth, Lancashire, were found guilty of causing the death of Mrs Routledge by dangerous driving at Bradford Crown Court in July and each jailed for six years.

Mrs Leonard said young drivers needed to "think about the consequences of their actions". She said: "These figures are shocking. Young people have to realise that others have to live with the consequences of their actions."

Bradford Crown Court Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, who is backing the T&A campaign, said he would like to see the minimum age for drivers raised to 18 and inexperienced motorists barred from high-powered vehicles.

Phillip Gwynne, of the West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership (WYCRP), said young, male drivers and their passengers were the most likely victims of fatal road smashes. "We know that in some cases drink and drugs are a contributory factor," said Mr Gwynne.

Mr Gwynne said that the partnership had logged 64 accidents involving young people across West Yorkshire from January 1 to August 31 this year, resulting in 70 deaths.

Inspector Kash Singh, of the Bradford Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said his officers had been instructed to use their powers under the Police Reform Act 2002 to confiscate vehicles whose drivers were causing a public nuisance.

Diana Ferreira, Brake spokesman for Yorkshire and Humberside, said the charity was using the statistics to make a plea to young people throughout the district to stay within the speed limit.

Government statistics uncovered by Brake reveal that on average 19 young drivers and passengers are killed or seriously injured every week in Yorkshire and Humberside.

The figures reveal that some 28 per cent of young people aged 16 to 25 in the district admit to driving without a licence, with six per cent claiming to have driven a stolen vehicle.

Bradford College is holding initiatives to highlight the importance of driving safely. The college is offering discounted driving lessons to students who sign up for road safety seminars. Ben Bailey, 17, of Holme Wood Lane, Holme Wood, Bradford, said young people had to drive responsibly. "If you don't you or others will die," he said.

A West Yorkshire Police accident investigation team spokesman said: "Those who are caught driving over the speed limit will face the consequences."


  • Click here to see Our View
Click on the logo below to submit your pledge

Register Your Pledge Here