A BRADFORD councillor, whose dad was left paralysed by a speeding car last year, is urging danger drivers in the district to be more aware of the consequences of their actions, after a man was jailed over the incident last week.

Councillor Nazam Azam says his life has been "turned upside down" since his dad, Mohammed Azam, was hurled over a wall and into some bushes after being struck by Ashfaq Valli's BMW in September 2020.

The City ward councillor has described the driving standards in Bradford as "shocking", adding that he sees examples of dangerous driving in the district on a "daily basis".

He adds that the "mindless" behaviour exhibited by some drivers can have a "devastating impact" on families.

71-year-old Mohammed Azam, a much-loved "pillar of the community", was walking on Horton Park Avenue on 21 September, when he was launched into the air by Valli's speeding car, Bradford Crown Court was told on Friday.

The incident left Mr Azam - who was described as healthy and physically fit before it happened - paralysed from the waist down.

The court was told he sustained "catastrophic injuries", including a fractured spine, a bleed on the brain and multiple rib fractures. He also had a mild heart attack brought on by the trauma and had to be put in an induced coma.

On Friday, Valli, 25, a National Health Service IT analyst, of Lemon Street, Wibsey, was jailed for 32 months. Cllr Azam says his actions "destroyed a lot of things" for him and his family.

"I don't have hate for any individuals, but I do have hate for the attitude and behaviour these people are displaying on the roads of Bradford", he says.

"Life is never perfect, but when I look back, before this, mine was near enough to perfection. In life there are always issues, but since this, I've had no stability. My dad was very independent, but now he needs full-time care.

"Even though he has carers, I'm up until four or five in the morning every day, just to make sure everything is alright with him.

"If anyone could see the impact this has had on my family, they would think twice about putting their foot down.

"These danger drivers are unaware of the consequences. Perhaps they should come and spend a day with someone like me and my dad to have an insight into what their actions can lead to."

Cllr Azam believes this is part of a wider problem in Bradford, even estimating that as many as "25 per cent" of young people buried in his local cemetery are "people who have died in tragic circumstances on the roads".

"They are all avoidable deaths. When people get in their cars, they don't think of them as weapons, but they can be used as such", he says.

"It's not just me and my family - there are many examples, and there will be many more to come unless we do something about it.

"The driving standards in the district are absolutely off the scale, and when things like this happen, it doesn't just affect one person, it has a knock-on effect on their families too.

"The way people use these cars, they're death traps. But they just see it as a bit of fun.

"You might get your 30 seconds of your 'need for speed', or whatever you want to call it, or you might think you're going to get somewhere a bit quicker, but that five minutes of madness the driver had when he hit my dad destroyed a lot of things for us.

"If people could see the impact, I don't think half of them would use their cars in such a manner ever again."

Cllr Azam adds that more needs to be done to combat dangerous driving and save lives in Bradford.

"Operation Steerside, for example, is doing very well and we thank West Yorkshire Police for their efforts, however, at this moment in time, with the current standards of driving in the district, I think efforts need to be doubled", he says.

"There needs to be a change in this culture of dangerous driving and speeding. We need continuous, regular campaigns to fight this. If we leave it now, how many more families are going to be affected?

"I think this needs to be done not just locally, but on a national basis, too.

"Do we need to change the laws? Do we need to increase the sentencing? These are things which we need to continue exploring along the way.

"We've lost so many people in Bradford - from all ethnic and religious backgrounds - to reckless driving, and we just can't carry on like this."