Death Race 2007: internet stunts must be stopped 10 Dec 2007

An illegal street racing culture is being promoted on many internet sites and will lead to escalating numbers of deaths if not stopped, according to the Royal Automobile Club Foundation.

The extent of the problem will be revealed in 'Tonight With Trevor McDonald' to be shown on ITV at 10pm on Tuesday 11 December and features comment from the Foundation's director, Edmund King. The investigation reveals a growing trend amongst young drivers and motorcyclists to film themselves racing, speeding and driving dangerously on the public highway.

Incidents include:


  • A motorcyclist filming himself whist hitting 176 mph. Police are still hunting for this biker and if he's caught he would be Britain's fastest speeder.
  • Speeding driver, Naythan Campbell, the first man to be prosecuted on video evidence and to go to prison for such an offence. He hit 140 on the M65.
  • Surfing on the top of a car.
  • Stunt driving on the public highway.

YouTube, one of the most popular video-hosting sites, states in its community guidelines: "Don't post videos showing dangerous or illegal acts." Racing on the public highway is both illegal and dangerous. The RAC Foundation believes these videos must be taken down as soon as they are brought to YouTube's attention.

Commenting, Sheila Rainger, Head of Campaigns of the RAC Foundation, said:

" Whilst there has always been an inclination for some young drivers to show off by racing on the highway, the information superhighway gives them a worldwide audience. We are concerned that posting film of illegal and dangerous driving on the internet is leading to copycat stunts, drivers trying to beat the records set.

"It is not illegal to show the footage but the RAC Foundation believes that the websites have a moral obligation not to allow it since it encourages dangerous driving. Together with the police we are calling on the video hosting sites to voluntarily remove clips of dangerous driving on the public highway. They do not need to hide behind excuses of censorship or lack of legislation to act on this matter.

Young drivers who want to test their skills at speed should take to the track, not the highway. There are many clubs offering track time, and concerned parents could even give a day out at a track as a gift for under £50. " Ends