The latest installment of the high speed blockbuster franchise, The Fast and the Furious, has been blamed for an increasing number of illegal driving stunts by ‘boy racers’ in industrial estates and on rural raods across the county.
That is according to Mayo County Council’s road safety officer Noel Gibbons.
“Since its release in the past few weeks, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of roads left with the markings from the previous night’s activities of drivers speeding and doing ‘donuts’ on public roads,” said Mr Gibbons.
“Residents have reported incidences of drivers racing, skidding, honking horns, flashing lights, and blaring loud music.”
The Fast and the Furious is a series of action films about illegal street racing.
The movie franchise, including the latest Fast and Furious 7, has raked in €3.1 billion at the box office worldwide.
Mr Gibbons said the movies, which feature “an orgy of testosterone, gleaming supercars, and impossibly daring driving” are spawning a growing number of imitators who are blind to the danger they are posing to themselves and others when they pull their stunts behind the wheel.
He pointed to the death of Fast and Furious star Paul Walker last November as an example of the danger of speeding.
Mr Gibbons has now launched a new campaign aimed at highlighting the danger of stunt manoeuvres.
The campaign slogan is ‘Don’t be an ass behind the wheel. Donuts are for eating, not car manoeuvres’.
Campaign posters are being posted on social media.
Driving donuts, as well as the more complicated manoeuvre of ‘drifting’, are stunts done mostly at night, generally by young men, to avoid traffic and the detection of the gardaí.
Castlebar Superintendent Joe McKenna issued a warning this week about such activity.
“Acts of excessive speeding, drifting, and ‘donuts’ on public roads are dangerous and undertaken without any consideration for other road users,” he said.
“All it takes is one mistake, a lapse in concentration, or one fault with a vehicle for something to go tragically wrong.”
Supt McKenna said gardaí will be pursuing those who break the road traffic laws.
He further suggested that if members of the public witness these driving acts, they should contact their local Garda station immediately and complaints will be treated with strict confidence.