BRADFORD Council has unveiled a raft of new measures to take its campaign against dangerous driving “to the next level”, including the buying of two hand-held cameras for councillors and residents to help catch speeding motorists.

The plans were revealed at a Full Council meeting by Councillor Abdul Jabar, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods and community safety, who said the authority must “take a stand and confront dangerous driving wherever it occurs.”

The Labour-led motion received support from other parties, although some members felt more could be added to help rid the district of its”bad driving epidemic”.

Addressing the meeting, Cllr Jabar praised the “excellent” Telegraph & Argus’ ‘Stop the Danger Drivers’ campaign, saying it had “built up the energy” for people to crack down on the problem.

He also complimented officers involved in Operation Steerside, run by West Yorkshire Police, which has snared more than 11,000 illegal drivers since its launch in February last year.

Cllr Jabar stated that the Council’s Safer and Stronger Communities Partnership had provided £35,000 funding towards Steerside in the past six months, and was “determined” to continue to support the initiative.

Announcing the “innovative” plans, Cllr Jabar said: “There’s no getting away from it, this is an issue that affects all of us in all kinds of ways.

“Most tragic of all, it is an issue that has affected many people in this district in the most profound way, through the death of a loved one. It is impossible to imagine the pain and horrors that those families experience.

“Whether it’s the young lad showing off to his mates, or the older person who has drunk one too many and gets behind the wheel, the tragic outcome is the same. This is something which touches every section of society, young or old, rich or poor, city, town or village. It falls to every one of us to do whatever we can to put a stop to this menace.”

“Together we are taking a stand and we are confronting dangerous driving wherever it occurs. Together we need to work hard to try and prevent it in the first place through education and by bringing up our young people to be responsible citizens.”

As part of the motion, Cllr Jabar stated that the Council would be buying two handheld speed cameras to be used in each ward across the district for at least a week next year.

The data, collected by councillors and community groups, would then be analysed to allow the authority and police to divert resources to areas where problems are identified.

The Council also announced it would be looking at whether legislation under the ‘Public Space Protection Order’ review could be extended to cover nuisance driving and potentially give staff the power to seize the vehicles in question.

Cllr Jabar also outlined the details of another future campaign targeting uninsured drivers, entitled ‘Dob a Dodger’, stating that the problem was a “major issue” for the district and one that Council officers were now “actively looking to tackle.”

Other measures the authority are pursuing include the use of dashcams, in both Council vehicles and to provide intelligence to pass on to police, and a youth education programme and social media campaign to promote safer driving and support the work of police.

Cllr Jabar said: “This has to be a unified, partnership approach in which we support the police to carry out intelligence-led enforcement and say enough is enough.

“The law-abiding majority is taking a stand, this district must be a safe and respectful place to be. Let’s make 2018 the year that we take our campaign against dangerous driving to the next level, right across this district.”

The motion was supported by Labour members including Councillor Cath Bacon (Lab, Keighley West) who said she had been out on a number of Operation Steerside patrols since the project had expanded into Keighley, including one incident in which a woman stopped for speeding was also found to be drinking a can of lager despite having her children in the back seat.

“In the first two weeks in Keighley, there were 110 vehicles stopped, and that’s a 110 potential accidents and fatalities stopped,” she said.

“Taking a stand against dangerous driving really can work, but it needs engagement from all of us, and from MPs, partners, and the public as well.”

Councillor Brendan Stubbs (Lib Dem, Eccleshill) said the Council should use its influence to speak to regulators in car-related industries, such as lobbying car rental firms.

He said: “The rental market often allows young drivers, usually male, to rent high-performance cars for the weekend. It’s a thing that happens a lot, and they drive them around our city and are quite often unable to control the vehicle.

“It’s not something they could insure on a day-to-day basis for themselves, but as an organisation, we could go to the regulators as an authority and put forward our suggestions on how to improve the regulation around some of the industries that feed the bad driving epidemic that we suffer.”

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the Council, said that police could not prosecute all illegal drivers due to a lack of resources, leading to some being “caught on camera knowing that no-one will do anything about it.”

She said: “If you can solve one thing, solve that one. All the small hand-held cameras in the world are not going to solve those people that kill other people, and that’s what we have to get to the bottom of.”