Grieving sister backs road safety campaign after Leeds drivers are shamed as worst in Yorkshire

slow down: Michaela Waters at the spot where her brother Paul Thompson, pictured, was killed. +picture: SCOTT MERRYLEES
slow down: Michaela Waters at the spot where her brother Paul Thompson, pictured, was killed. +picture: SCOTT MERRYLEES
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A GRIEVING sister whose family was “torn apart” when her brother was killed by a speeding driver has urged drivers to act responsibly, as the scale of motorists who flout traffic laws is laid bare today by new research.

Michaela Waters’ brother Paul Thompson was just 25 years old when we was hit by a driver doing nearly double the speed limit in July 2004. He was killed instantly.

She has spoken out to support road safety charity Brake’s Road Safety Week campaign, to urge drivers to “look out for each other”.

Her call comes as shocking research revealed that motorists in one of Leeds’ most affluent areas have been shamed as the worst drivers in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Drivers living in LS17 - which includes Alwoodley and Harewood - received more than 1,000 fixed penalty notices for careless driving and speeding last year, more than any other area in the region, Brake revealed.

The research also found that every SEVEN minutes, a Yorkshire driver is issued a fixed penalty notice for careless driving or speeding. Last year, 78,984 fixed penalty notices were issued in the region, with the highest number, 1,039, going to drivers from the LS17 postcode.

Brake also spoke to primary school children in the region and discovered a third had been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while on foot or on a bike.

Paul, of Lupset, Wakefield, was walking home from a night out when he was hit by a driver travelling at 54mph in a 30mph zone.

Mrs Waters said: “Paul was the youngest in the family and the apple of my parents’ eyes. It’s something none of the family will ever get over. Every birthday, every Christmas, there’s someone missing. No family should have to go through what we have.”

Brake is urging drivers to slow down, look longer and take it slow at junctions. Last year 165 people were killed and 2,234 seriously injured on the region’s roads.

Backing the campaign, Leeds council’s executive member for transport and economy, Coun Richard Lewis, said it was working as part of the West Yorkshire Safer Roads partnership to make roads safer for everyone. He added: “Regardless of where people live, we’d encourage them to drive within the law and to demonstrate, by their actions, care and consideration towards all road users.”

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