Top Gear is well known for a certain genre of video, featuring the hosts blasting along some twisty road yelling exhortations of power and speed. Those antics inspired a pair of YouTubers to shoot their own recreation, drawing the attention of police and a hefty sentence from the authorities, reports the BBC.
As covered by CarScoops, David Murray and Timur Khayrov set out for Wales in March, filming a video with their Porsches screaming up and down the B4501 in Conwy and the B4391 in Gwynedd. The footage bears a strong resemblance to old Top Gear spots, featuring screams of "POWER!" and badly-fumbled Welsh pronunciations. In footage uploaded to the duo's Vehicle Villains YouTube channel, the duo reach speeds of 116 miles per hour in a Porsche 718 Boxster, and 105 mph in a 911 GT3.
Unlike most Top Gear videos, however, the footage was not shot on closed roads. Instead, the duo filmed themselves driving at speed on open public roads, in some cases with regular traffic coming the other way. The cars cross the centerline multiple times, occasionally drifting entirely into the opposite lane. Corners are cut and speeds are regularly well in excess of the posted limits.
After committing such obvious traffic violations and posting the footage to YouTube, it's perhaps unsurprising they were quickly pounced upon by the authorities. An inspector from the Greater Manchester Police found the video, forwarding it to North Wales Police who brought charges against the pair. In court, it was raised that the video may have been inspired by similar antics from Top Gear hosts Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness.
The 30-year-old men were contrite in court, with airline pilot Khayrov said to have been displaying "misplaced enthusiasm" and that he was "extremely appalled" at his own behavior. Murray was similarly remorseful, stating that filming the video was "the stupidest thing he has ever done in his life." Both men have since sold their Porsches used in the video.
Each of the men pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was given a hefty eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. On top of this, 18-month driving bans were handed down, and each driver is required to undertake 200 hours of community service. The men must also re-take a test prior to receiving their license back.
The penalties are stiff, but highlight how poorly the judge looked upon the pair's actions. “The aggravating factor is the filming of the driving,” said Judge Nicola Jones during sentencing. On top of the risks taken, Jones added that “It may not have been your intention to encourage others to come to Snowdonia and drive in a dangerous manner, but that’s what you did."
Many automotive enthusiasts enjoy a hot run through a twisty road. However, taking that to extremes of speed and danger, where lanes are crossed and other motorists are put at risk, will always draw a negative response from the public. Promoting video of such activity only helps authorities trying to crack down on this behavior. Such a hefty verdict against the drivers should go some way to discouraging reckless behavior on Welsh roads.
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