New research shows that the popular The Fast and the Furious movie franchise may be encouraging motorists to speed. A New York Times report analyzed traffic violation data from Montgomery County in Maryland from 2012 to 2017. The researchers found a large increase in the average speed of drivers who received speeding tickets on the weekends after new Fast and the Furious movies were released.
The first film in the franchise, starring Vin Diesel, came out in 2001 and features scenes of illegal street racing and high-speed chases. More recent entries have turned the characters into high-tech spies, although always with an emphasis on racing and car-based stunts. In total, there have been seven sequels, three of which were released between 2012 and 2017—the same time period for which researchers analyzed nearly 200,000 speeding tickets.
The data shows that in the three weekends after each movie’s release the speeds people were given tickets for increased almost 20 percent in comparison to the three weeks prior to the movie’s release. This equates to an average of 19 mph over the speed limit versus 16 mph.
Rates of extreme speeding—meaning drivers exceeding 40 mph over the limit—nearly doubled, although it remained a tiny proportion (2 percent) of all violations.
The vast majority of tickets handed out in the three weekends after movie releases occurred on Route 270, a major highway that runs adjacent to several large movie theaters in the county. In recent years, police throughout the U.S. have increased the number of patrols near cinemas when each new installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise was released.
As a control, researchers also looked at speeding tickets issued after the release of the four movies in The Hunger Games series, which does not feature any kind of fast driving. Speeding didn’t go up. Nor was there any increase in speeds during weekends in which no movies were released.
Researchers were confident their findings, while limited in scope, provided sufficient evidence that watching the Fast and the Furious movies fills some drivers with a need for speed.Unless you are Dom Toretto, speeding in New York State can carry serious consequences. A typical speeding ticket will cost you at least $150. You will also be required to pay a NYS surcharge of $88 to $93. A conviction means you will receive three or more points on your license, depending on how far over the limit you were going. These points can cause your auto insurance premiums to skyrocket. Even worse, if you accrue 11 or more points your license will be automatically suspended. If you or someone you love has been ticketed for speeding in New York, contact a lawyer right away to find out how you could avoid these consequences. The attorneys of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced in handling tickets for speeding and other driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.