Never underestimate the role that Imams have to play in the community. Bradford Council has said that working with local Mosques may be the way to combat road accidents.
Letters have been sent out to Imams by the Bradford Road Safety Partnership in the hope that they spread the message of dangerous driving to the young people attending their mosques.
Last week four young Asian men were killed in a car crash on Toller Lane. Chaudhry, 21, Arbaaz Hussain, 21 Zeeshan Khalid, 20, and Tayyab Siddique, 22, who were said to be school friends, were killed in a crash that happened at about 5:30am on August 2.
At their funeral, held on Saturday, Imam Muhammed Asim spoke passionately of the consequences of dangerous driving.
Bradford Council has recently discussed how they are trying to tackle dangerous driving by young men in the district’s Asian community.
At the last meeting of Bradford Council’s Regeneration and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, before last week’s fatal incident, road safety in the district was on the agenda.
At the meeting Councillor Nussrat Mohammed (Lab, Heaton) pointed out the importance of getting the message across to the Asian community, especially its young men.
She said: “Every time there is a local fatality, there is a huge turnout at the funeral. Sermons are being given raising the consequences of dangerous driving, and they have an impact for a short period. But then after a while everything goes back to normal.
“It is something we really need to deal with in our district.”
Simon D’Vali, principal engineer for Bradford Council’s traffic and highways department, replied: “We do engage with Imams in Bradford, particularly around Eid.
“A letter has gone out to all Imams, and there is a particular focus on Great Horton Road and Leeds Road.
“The feedback so far has been very positive, and we are going to do workshops with the Council of Mosques.
“It is a good way of getting the road safety message out, as when young people go mosque they are a captive audience.”
Imams must continue to push the importance of road safety including this issue more regularly in sermons and together we can work towards the reduction of traffic accidents caused by dangerous driving.