Criminal speeding in California is a punishable offense that can lead to serious charges. And yet, some are brazen enough to not only go 50 to 60 miles per hour over the speed limit, but also to post video evidence of the crime on online. It’s videos like these that are causing concern in the Bay Area.
One viewer reached out to KRON 4, concerned about a YouTube page they came across. In it the user posts videos of themselves driving recklessly in different parts of the Bay Area and getting more than one hundred thousand views doing it.
Highway 29 at 135 mph
Flying down Highway 29 in Napa County, this driver reaches speeds of up to 135 miles per hour. An open road is one thing, but it doesn’t take long before they’re rolling through stop signs and crossing the center line in Yountville.
“They could easily cross over and hit someone head on,” said driver Erin Edwards, who watched the video with her three young kids in the backseat. She’s concerned for their safety knowing she has to share the road with drivers like this and disgusted that the videos are then posted on YouTube.
“The idea that someone would post this video for likes or reactions or comments is gross. The idea of fame for something so dangerous,” Edwards said.
The Napa County Sherriff’s Office became aware of the YouTube videos two weeks ago, according to Sgt. Ryan McWilliams. He says no legal action will be taken by his department, since the major violations occurred on the highway and that’s California Highway Patrol’s jurisdiction.
Dangerous curves on the 680 in Concord
In another video, the YouTuber shows themselves driving down highway 680 in Concord. Just after reaching 100 miles per hour, they cause a near collision with two other vehicles while weaving in and out of traffic.
“I mean the vehicle is halfway on the shoulder,” said CHP Officer Andrew Barclay, while watching the video. He explained why this kind of reckless driving is so dangerous.
“When people are engaged in reckless driving, they start to experience tunnel vision, which is their vision just narrows and all they really see is what’s in front of them. They lose perspective of everything around them,” Barclay said.
That puts them at risk of not seeing a pedestrian, another car, or a motorcyclist, like one man who shook his head at the YouTube videos showing speeds well over 100.
“Unfortunately, they don’t learn the repercussions of their actions until it’s too late and somebody is dead and it’s a tragedy and for what?” said the motorcyclist, who didn’t wish to give his name.
What can the public do?
Seeing these speeds online is one thing, but Officer Barclay says you shouldn’t hesitate to call 911 if you see someone driving recklessly around you.
“There could have been two, three four other people who have called them in and we’re trying to find this person and every call that we get is that updated location,” Barclay said.
These videos have since been made private, but Barclay says police are still able to track down the evidence once posted online. The CHP has not taken legal action against this particular Youtuber. The California Highway Patrol wants all influencers posting content glorifying criminal speeding to know that the crime should be avoided from the start.
“The reason it’s taken so seriously is because it’s now a decision that you’re making, but you’re forcing that poor decision onto everyone else around you,” said Officer Barclay.
KRON4 reached out to YouTube to find out how they handle videos showing someone committing a crime. They declined to comment.