BBC under fire for Top Gear's 'glorification' of speeding
TOP Gear, the BBC's flagship motoring show, has been criticised for "glorifying speed" after reporting that a Bugatti sports car travelled at more than 200mph in a 60mph zone.
Councillor Mike Raeburn, convener of Grampian Fire and Rescue Joint Board, has accused programme makers of being "totally irresponsible" and is asking Scotland's transport minister, Stewart Stevenson, to intervene.
Mr Raeburn is furious at Sunday night's edition of the BBC 2 show, in which Jeremy Clarkson brandished a speeding ticket from the United States, showing the vehicle travelling at 210mph in a 60mph zone.
He said: "There is a culture in the production team that refuses to see the effect this continual reinforcement of the 'speed is good' message has on viewers, particularly younger ones.
"I have previously challenged the producers on this and they seem to think such irresponsible behaviour is acceptable because it is 'entertainment'.
"Perhaps if they had to pick up the remains of teenagers from a crash scene they might revise their opinion of what constitutes entertainment."
The councillor has demanded details of its safety management structure, but claims the BBC has refused to release it to him.
His comments come just days after Kirsty Green, 15, was killed in a crash in Grampian which also led to the death of the driver Ryan Brown, 18. She had written on her social networking site: "I love going reeaaally fast in cars."
Last year, 282 people were killed on Scottish roads, the lowest since records began. Serious injuries also fell by 11 per cent.
Safety campaigns are credited with improving the figures, but there are still concerns about road safety in rural areas.
Last night, Isobel Brydie, chairwoman of the Scottish Campaign Against Irresponsible Drivers, said:
"Top Gear just encourages this macho image of people behind the wheel. I'm very surprised they (the BBC] don't get more complaints."
A BBC spokeswoman said: "We are not aware of any correspondence from either Mike Raeburn or Stewart Stevenson, however should they wish to contact the BBC we shall respond to them directly."
A Scottish Government spokesman said it was determined to reduce accidents on Scotland's roads.
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