Police Camera Action

Thursday, 5 August 2010, 9:00PM – 10:00PM on ITV1

Episode Two: Fast & Furious

Speeding is the most common offence committed on British roads and leads to thousands of accidents a year, with one in four deaths on the road involving someone driving too fast. Yet many drivers continue to risk speeding at some point. In this episode, Gethin Jones investigates drivers who risk lives by recklessly going too fast and breaking the rules of the road.

The programme features shocking footage showing the risks people are prepared to take while speeding. This includes an American man reckless enough to climb into the cab of a speeding pick-up truck while being pursued by the police and a woman caught doing 118 miles an hour with a baby in the front seat next to her.

Gethin visits Oulton Park race track to experience the thrill of driving at 120 miles per hour. He discovers the rush driving at speed creates and what drives people to speed on the roads.

Gethin says: “That is just unreal. That feeling of pure speed is a massive adrenalin rush and you can probably tell I’ve got a big smile on my face.”

He then goes out on patrol with Central Motorways Police and Essex Police to search for speeding drivers on Britain’s roads. Among those stopped by the police is a man caught doing 104 mph with his wife and two children in the car.

Gethin also meets four drivers who are happy to admit they are serial speeders.

Mark, a manager in a packaging company, admits to speeding every day and has driven at a top speed of 150 miles per hour. Having been caught three times, he has received nine points. Property consultant Sunny, drives an Aston Martin and admits to a top speed of 170 miles per hour. He has been disqualified from driving three times and admits to having done 120 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone. Michelle, a sales rep, is also addicted to the thrill of speeding and is quite happy to drive at 110 miles per hour in her car. Despite this Michelle says: “When I’m doing 100 miles an hour I feel completely safe. I don’t feel in any danger at all.”

Service engineer, Naz, drives over 60,000 miles a year for his job and has been banned in the past. Despite having 8 points on his license and admitting to a top speed of 155 miles per hour, he says: “I personally don’t think it’s speeding that kills. I think it’s incompetent drivers who kill. It’s people who don’t know how to handle their car and how to drive within their capabilities.”

Gethin says: “I’m amazed by these driver’s attitudes. They say they only speed on motorways and dual carriageways but they’ve all done racetrack speeds and believe they’re capable of handling it. If you travel at high speed you can quickly lose control.”

Gethin admits that he has also been caught for a speeding offence: “I must admit I’ve been done for speeding myself, I was doing 58 in a 50 zone. At the time I didn’t think I was going so fast that it could be called dangerous. How risky can an extra eight miles an hour be?”

To find out the potential consequences of his speeding, Gethin takes part in an exclusive test. PC Angus Nairn has marked out a course with a hazard and the safe stopping distance for a car doing 50 miles per hour. Gethin and PC Nairn both drive a car along the track, PC Nairn at 50 miles per hour and Gethin at 58 miles per hour. Gethin is shocked when both cars break and his car smashes straight through the hazard set up earlier.

He says: “Well I braked as hard as I possibly could, but I just could not stop in time. Angus stopped three metres before the barrier. But doing just eight miles an hour faster I could only stop 12 metres further on.”

PC Nairn has further news which frightens Gethin. He says: “As you are going through this tape you’d be doing almost 30 miles an hour. Deceleration only really occurs in the last few metres because you’ve got to consider your thinking time and then your reaction time to brake.”

Gethin is horrified by the results of the test. He says: “If that barrier had been a child I’d have hit them at 30 miles an hour and could have killed them. It’s a revelation to me that just a few extra miles an hour can make such a difference. From now on I’ll really watch my speed.”

The programme also features the tragic case of the Edwards family who were involved in a high speed road crash in 2006. Nineteen year old Antonio Boporan was driving his mother’s Range Rover at over 70 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone, when he crashed into the Edwards family car.

Tracey Edwards talks to Gethin about the impact the accident has had on her daughter Cerys, who was just a year old at the time. Her mother says Cerys effectively died at the scene but was resuscitated. She cannot walk or talk and can survive only with a permanent ventilator. The round-the-clock care and medical equipment she requires means the Edwards family have to rent a house across the road from their home for Cerys to live in.

Tracey describes the accident to Gethin: “His lights were coming at us and he didn’t seem to slow down. I started screaming. It was like a tank and it was a huge bang. And then we were pushed 57 feet behind, into another vehicle.”

Gethin is horrified what the Edwards family have gone through. He says: “That family’s life has changed forever in a split second. They did absolutely nothing wrong. On the contrary they made sure Cerys was strapped in her baby seat in the back. They were keeping to the speed limit, they reacted quickly. But they just couldn’t do anything about the guy coming towards them because he was going so fast.”

Gethin then meets PC Andy Salt, a police forensic expert who collects and interprets evidence from road crashes.

Despite Antonio Boporan saying that he thought it was a 40 mile an hour limit and claiming he was doing just over that, PC Salt’s painstaking work allowed him to digitally recreate the accident and prove that Boporan was driving at a minimum of 71 miles per hour. He used a ‘black box’ from within the Range Rover to calculate the minimum speed the vehicle was travelling at, in a case which was the first of its kind in the UK.

Antonio Boporan was sentenced to 21 months in prison and served six. He also got a five year driving ban. He has never spoken publicly about the crash but speaks exclusively to the programme for the first time since the accident. Gethin visits his home to ask him about the crash and how he lives with the consequences.

Gethin then introduces Tracey and Cerys Edwards to Mark, Sunny, Michelle & Naz in an emotional confrontation at the end of the progamme. The details of their story have a profound effect on the drivers.

Speaking to the drivers about Cerys, Gethin says: “She needs a nurse and a carer at night. And she needs two people in the day. It doesn’t matter how good a driver you are. You could have had Michael Schumacher in there, he wouldn’t have stopped in time.”

The four speeding drivers are horrified. Mark says: “Words fail me. I just can’t explain how I’m feeling at the moment. Your beautiful daughter. Somebody did this and it was never your fault.”

Sobbing, Michelle says: “I just feel disgusted with myself I really do. I just feel really bad, I can only apologise for speeding.”

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