back to article Boy racer cuffed for 140mph YouTube jaunt

An unnamed 19-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of "having posted a video of himself on YouTube driving at speeds of more than 140 mph", Reuters reports. The alleged Ford Escort incident took place on the single-carriageway A76 in southwest Scotland. Sergeant Scott McLachlan, of Dumfries and Galloway police's Roads …


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  1. Nick

    New Offence?

    So is the offence:

    a- "having posted a video of himself on YouTube driving at speeds of more than 140 mph"

    b- dangerous driving / speeding, and the YouTube video used as evidence

    c- just being a muppet

    140mph out of a Ford Escort? I presume it was of the Cosworth variety!

  2. Andy Hawes


    Won't be bragging now :o) stupid can people be putting the video up where all can see it, might aswell just turn themselves in.

  3. Stuart Van Onselen

    Blithering stupidity

    Seems to be an epidemic of stupidity going around, which is being aided and abetted by YouTube.

    But maybe not.

    The leading cause of death in males under 25 has always been chronic testosterone poisoning. The only difference is that we can now watch it on our PCs.

  4. Matt Thornton

    Ford Escort? 140mph?

    I call shenanigans.

  5. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Only in Scotland

    Only in Scotland as Ford stands for Fast only rolling downhill. Would need a pretty big hill to do 140mph :)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As they say in Scotland...

    What a Choob.

  7. Matthew

    My arse

    No Ford can do 140mph. More like the speedometer said 140mph which was more like 87mph. Fords are the new Lada.

  8. Chris Fryer


    That's an odd charge. "On suspicion of posting a video of himself..." kind of suggests the advertisement of his misdemeanour is the crime, rather than the actual speeding offence.

  9. Nick

    87 x 1.6 = 139.2

    Any questions?

    And where's the vid?

  10. andrew.arthur

    Escorts can do 150mph

    Ford Escort RS Turbo, dudes. 2 litre blown engine.

    My son has one.

  11. Ian Cleary

    Speedometer accuracy

    So if his speedo is trusted enough to convict him of "140mph", will the speedo be trusted enough to refute speed camera "traps"?

    And also, if I were to take a car geared for wheels of a certain size, and fit much smaller wheels and film myself at a legal speed, whilst the speedometer indicated an illegal speed... where would Herr Fuzz stand on that one?

    *cough* Police State *cough*

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Escort Cosworth Top Speed...

    ...was 139/140mph depending on tyres with the rear wing on, or about 147mph with it removed - ex proud cossie owner. God, I loved that car. Was in black. Until some scroat nicked it. Bastard.


  13. Richard

    Is this the vid?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "McLachlan noted that one third of fatal accidents involve drivers under 25"

    Well.. That should mean that two thirds involve drivers *above* 25

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If that is the video

    Then his white dials modification is a great one for wrecking speedo accuracy.

  16. Law


    " McLachlan noted that one third of fatal accidents involve drivers under 25, and observed: "Young men in particular seem to think they are invincible behind the wheel - but the facts tell a different story." "

    What the f*ck has that got to do with anything?!? No, not young men in particular.... what he means here is "young pikey t*ssers" - because I never took a video of myself speeding when I was under 25, I didn't feel invincible either, didn't feel the need to race anybody, didn't feel the need to remove my exhaust and pimp my sound system... I also never crashed. I am getting p*ssed off with young men being branded as speed demons, accident prone boy-racers when in actual fact it is more to do with the binge-drinking-drug-induced-chav culture of a select few that go about killing people and themselves in souped-up corsa's!! Somehow this year my premium has gone from £1000+ for an unmodified Renault Laguna, to £400.... why? Well, because I am over 25. So how come I was more likely to crash last year than I am this year, travelling further in an older car??


  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Solid conviction?

    That right because Streethawk and Knight Rider really did do 200mph, it's on film so must be true....

    He must be commended to get an Escort up to 140 without something falling off !

  18. Matt W

    If that's the video

    I don't see how he could have been nicked.

  19. Gordon


    He's an idiot for doing it, and an ever greater idiot for posting the evidence where anyone could see it.

    As far as knowing the speed goes. I'd imagine the fuzz simply picked two landmarks he passed on the video, measured the distance between them on the road in question and timed how long he takes to pass between them... And then the math is simple (as is he).

    Charges could be "excess speed", but far more likely to be something like "Dangerous driving". The advantage to that being you don't need to prove and exact speed & the sentence is MUCH stiffer.

  20. Richard Kilpatrick

    Um, RS Turbo...

    Both RS Turbo models are 1.6, push out a frankly feeble 132bhp (though at the time, this was compared to XR3i 105bhp, and Golf GTi 115bhp), and are dragged along by a wheezy CVH engine. Top speed is about 120mph and 0-60 is 8.1 seconds, which is only a touch better than my ragged old Volvo estate can do (and the Volvo will hit that 120 with rather less fuss and drama than the Escort). Unless it's an Escort Cosworth, then it's modified, or he's got the only RS1700T in the wild ;)

    Modified cars aside, a Ford Escort doing 140mph indicated is plausible. Actually doing it is another matter. The fastest Escort likely to be in the hands of someone this young and stupid will be a Cosworth (unlikely), RS2000 (of the Mk 6 variety) or an XR3i/GTi. The RS2000 will do 133, and therefore will probably do an indicated 140 with a long enough run up. It's worth noting that measured top speed, and what's attainable on the road, are very different animals, and even on the track my RX8 will cease storming ahead at 130ish, taking a fairly decent length of time and road to claw in the final 15 or so mph to claimed maximum.

    I'm tempted to do a YouTube showing me doing a steady 100 down some A-roads, recorded with accurate timebase; I wonder how long it would last in court when I pointed out that I played the video back at 1.6x speed and had switched the digital display to kph... and showed the entirely hands-free rig holding my video camera.

    @ Matthew: Quite a few Fords are capable of 140mph, and not all of them have Cosworth on the back, though they may have it on the engine covers. Car top speeds have increased somewhat since 87mph was a likely Vmax for a family car and doing the ton was a big event.

  21. Steven Hunter


    "Videotaping this crime spree is the best idea we ever had!" -- Jimbo Jones [5F13]

  22. Henry Wertz

    Works in the states

    Regarding Ian Cleary's comment, it works in the states. There's been at least one case here where someone got convicted (after a fatal crash) based on some kind of computerized black box claiming they were going 80MPH or so. The defendant pointed out he had non-stock wheels, tires, and gear ratios, and the speedo (and therefore black box) were completely inaccurate. No dice -- the judge was like "the box says 80, you were doing 80" ignoring the facts of the case. Given the extremely non-stock gears and tires, he was really doing more like 40MPH -- he still was speeding and would have been convicted, but this judge threw the book at him due to not understanding how speedos work.

  23. Mike Lovell

    Big wow!

    140mph! Big wow! I do that every day down the M25. I was much more impressed by that guy that got into the 170's.

    I can't believe someone would be proud of that pansy arse speed. Definitely wasn't worth recording.

    Lucky I wasn't there, I'd be in the background on my push bike flashing him to let me pass.

    Also I'm pretty sure if you try and play the smart arse and claim the speedo was wrong they'll get you on something even worse, you know what they're like!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @law ffs

    Look up the definition of "actuary".

  25. TimePilot84

    Smacks of Internet Bullshit

    Henry, your story is interesting but it smacks of pure internet bullshit. Please give us some details that would allow independent verification of this story.

    Also, I think that anyone who's passed High School Geometry should be able to show a judge just how much slower a car with smaller wheels would go, even if the speedometer is showing a faster rate. And, if the perp where to say "Well, I don't know how fast I was going, but I know it was less than 80 MPH" without having any other way of gauging his speed, I say throw the book at the asswipe. The ONLY credible source of info on his speed was the Speedometer, however inaccurate.

  26. Robert Henry Sullivan

    Stupid Cops

    The really stupid thing is for the cops to arrest him for doing 140mph in an escort!


    However guess it could have been souped up.

    If it wasn't that wuld be kicked out of my court if I were Judge, on grounds of stupidity

  27. Eugene Goodrich

    That can't be the video - it doesn't show a crime.

    I saw a dash dial indicating 140 and a brief snip of the road and some plants. I suppose that's enough to arrest for, but I hope they don't call that "beyond a reasonable doubt". (Do they need that in Scotland?)

    Anyone want to see a video of my 95 hp Hyundai Accent doing 220 mph? I may have to hunt around a bit for a dial face that goes up that high...

  28. b shubin

    What a maroon

    this actually deserves a Bugs Bunny quote.

    in prehistoric days, this sort would be weeded out of the gene pool by saber-tooth tigers or something similar (ironic that the tiger had a smaller brain than this hormone-drenched twit). too bad we can't stick him in a coliseum with something large and aggressive, so he can get some stupid out of his system, or die in the process, as an example to others...

    i'd be happy to film that and post it on YouTube.

    adapted for our industrialized society, i'd like to do thus:

    your honor, the jury unanimously finds the, defendant guilty of idiocy on two counts.

    [1] the defendant is an idiot for filming himself doing something he knows is illegal and guaranteed to attract police attention - the "low-hanging fruit" class of offense.

    [2] the defendant is an idiot for posting said film where the entire industrialized world can get at it with minimal effort - the "too dumb to remain at large" class of offense.

    judge, we recommend he be sentenced to a month of daily beatings until unconscious, administered by fellow chavs, a series of 30 parts, to be posted on YouTube for all to see.

    bailiff, please take this fool away so members of the jury don't fall off their chairs laughing...

  29. John Curry


    I really, really hope you're either:

    a - not a real person

    b - joking

    c - full of ill directed male bravado

    On the off chance that none of the above apply, let me take this opportunity to call you a buffoon.

    Thank you.

  30. arran

    ive seen

    an RS Fiesta hit 140 easily with alot of work done on it, then again ive also seen 3rd line engineers do some work once in a while so maybe im just in the right place at the right time.

    fair play to the guy for managing it, but what a prick for posting the video.

    on that note im going to go record myself driving home in the morning in my BMW NOT being a wanker, another video that will astound us all

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Putting the clip on Utube could be classed as ' conduct likely to lead to a breach of the peace'. A catch all charge until they decide what to really hit him with.

  32. Mike Lovell

    (John Curry)

    How about I do it like this:

    <joke>[joke is here]</joke>


    Make it more obvious?

  33. Stephen Stagg


    This must be a new 64-bit Ford with quad-core. They go bare fast!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Someone please help me. I do not understand why people buy Ford. The myth they are cheap to buy, cheap to run and cheap to repair is exactly that - a myth. The build quality of these vehicles is horrible to the point I think they should be prohibited. @matthew - you have a point my son. I see these horrible cars all around when there are so many other vehicles on the road in the same class and price range and many many times better in every way. Yes I'm tainted. I have a three litre turbodiesel Mercedes E-class which cost me second hand just twenty percent of the cost my company paid to give me a horrible, horrible Ford Fiesta. Since I've owned the merc I've changed the oil and filters a few times but the Fiesta has costed perhaps twice as much to keep on the road in the same time/mileage.

  35. Edward Fingleton


    My speedo has said i've done 140Mph, nothing wrong with that.

    of course in my case my speedo was innaccurate and on an airfield during testing before running on a rolling road to have the speedo adjusted.

    If i'd videoed it, peraps the sam could happen to me, in fact judging by this case, i could actually fake it on my pc, provide all of the documentation, and still go to jail!

  36. Howard Chu

    Only in the US

    re: Henry Wertz, TimePilot84 - same thing happened to me when I was 17. Drove through a yellow light, got pulled over for running a red. I knew that intersection, and looked up the state laws. (In Michigan, a traffic light is yellow for 1 second per 10mph speed limit.) Had the officer's testimony of his estimate of my car's distance from the intersection when the light turned yellow, had his estimate of my car's speed. (He did not ever imply I was driving an unsafe speed or anywhere over the limit.) I had photos of the intersection. I used a whiteboard in the courtroom and ran the numbers to show that by the time the light had changed from yellow to red, my car was at least 100 feet beyond the intersection. The judge said "I don't doubt your math young man, but the officer said you ran a red." Case closed, I lost, had to pay additional court fees.

    In US courts facts don't mean shit, The Law is not the same as Justice.

  37. Gordon


    Well, I'm not sure they're get BOTP through. Certainly in England they'd struggle, since it's been superceded by the Public Order Act. I think it scotland it's not actually chargable, but just arrestable until the danger/opportunity has passed.

    IE, it's good old-fashioned stop-them-acting-like-idiots-and-then-go-and-do-something-more-productive policing. without an FPN or detection stat in evidence.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @My Arse

    My we live a sheltered existence, don't we?

    F6 Typhoon

    3984cc DOHC 24V Turbocharged I6

    Power 270 kW @ 5250 rpm (362 hp)

    Torque 550 Nm @ 2000 rpm (406 ft/lb)

    Tyres 245/35 ZR19 - Dunlop SP Sport 9000

    0 - 100 km/h (60 mph) 5.3sec

    Standing 400 m (1/4 mile) 13.60 @ 175km/h (109mph)

    Top Speed 250km/h (155mph) (restricted)

    How's your arse?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    An average ford will be much cheaper to run than a merc if you consider the cost per mile. The main reason for this being the retail price for mercs which is at least twice the price of a ford (and often 3 or 4 times the price). Build quality aside they *are* cheap to run just because of the retail price difference (unless, like yourself, you exclude the cost of buying equivalent size models from new and just take the blinkered view that you bought an old merc for buttons and it's not gone wrong yet).

  40. Andy Worth

    "Indicated speed" vs actual speed

    So given that speedometers are notoriously inaccurate at higher speeds, he was probably doing nowhere near 140mph. Even sports cars can show as much as 10-15mph inaccuracies at 100mph+ let alone some battered Escort with rear drum brakes.

    Anyway, they won't have to prove his real speed, they'll just do him for dangerous driving and probably a couple of other counts. Enough to take his licence anyway.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Maybe he photoshopped the video to make it look like he was doing 140MPH... The only think I've seen a Ford Escort do successfully is rust by the side of the road!!

  42. SeanR

    Hey, anonymous. My Cock

    is 10 inches long

    bet you feel small now :rolleyes:

    You. Are. NOT. Your. Car. No one is.

    it's a method of transport from A to B unless, and I hope to god I'm wrong, it's your profession too...

    see also: people who spend more clean their cars more often than themselves.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since there seems to be

    more than the average number of petrol-heads commenting on nthis thread, could one of you explain how adding soup to a car makes it more powerful.



  44. AndyB

    Souped up Corsas

    "it is more to do with the binge-drinking-drug-induced-chav culture of a select few that go about killing people and themselves in souped-up corsa's!!"

    Bastardising the bodywork, sticking on an infeasibly large tailpipe and a load of little blue lights does not make a pissy little Corsa 'souped up'.........

  45. Scott Mckenzie


    In a world of unfulfillment your car may be a method of getting from A to B.... i personally quite enjoying using my car to get from A to A via B, C and D

    Or driving on a track.

    Or just enjoying the fact i don't have big luxobarge with all mod cons, leather seats, ABS, EBD, IRDGAF and air con to waft along with the involvement of a large blancmange.

    Oh and i CBA cleaning it.

  46. Jonathan


    Do you have to stupe to a discussing your penis? Maybe it is, but to mention it in that manner would suggest your mental age is below ten. Its inappropriate - its a tech site, the article is about a pleb speeding and posting himself doing it on youtube..

    Anyways whether or not an Escort can do the speed is immaterial, its whether the video can be used as evidence. He could just say he faked it...They would have to prove otherwise. As its his video, that would be difficult. They would have to find witnesses etc...

  47. Frank Bough

    Speed Kills?

    If this guy had been driving at 140mph on the German Autobahn, he would have been doing nothing wrong. Why does his being on a road in Scotland make him a maniac?

    Has it ever occurred to people that letting cars go faster would make it quicker to get around? If I could (legally) drive up the M40 at 140mph I could get to Birmingham in half the time. Quite why I'd want to go to Birmingham might be a mystery, but the logic is sound.

    There's nothing inherently unsafe about driving a car at 140mph.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The speedo shows a fast acceleration through 140 if it is to be believed. As someone said earlier, the last increase up to the max would be a very gradual increase. It's a fake.

  49. Ian Cooper

    Re: Is this the vid?

    If that's really the vid then it's got one hell of an interesting engine. cos it's still accelerating very fast between 110 and 140 "mph" (why do i get the feeling the mph and kph have been reversed...).

  50. Scott Mckenzie

    Depends on the engine

    I've seen cars with small engines accelerate very quickly... if it has been modified it could have all sorts in there!

    A few hundred bhp (which is possible in a RST) would give some fast acceleration at those speeds still.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    1/3 of fatal accidents involve men under 25. If you assume an average of 2 drivers per accident that means 1/6 of drivers involved in fatal accidents are men under 25, which tends to imply young drivers are just as responsible as old. While I agree my assumption is not very accurate neither is a figure of 1/3.

  52. AndyB

    Re: Speed Kills?

    "If this guy had been driving at 140mph on the German Autobahn, he would have been doing nothing wrong. Why does his being on a road in Scotland make him a maniac?"

    Could it, just possibly, be that German Autobahns are designed for these speeds, but single carriageway 'A' roads aren't?

    "There's nothing inherently unsafe about driving a car at 140mph.". On a track or a road specifically designed for those speeds, no, probably not. It is, however, decidedly unsafe on any UK road, including motorways, which are NOT designed to cope with it

  53. Richard Kilpatrick


    The phrase "souped-up" has origins both in cooking and food technology advancements. Specifically, standard models of a car are referred to as "cooking". When someone adds stripes, large exhaust, then it's taken to simmering. Once the engine is uprated, it's "hot" - although this terminology also applies to inexplicable thefts of 1988 Metros from sink-hole estates by 15 year old morons.

    To further expand upon this, the 1920s hot-rod community fuelled by prohibition and the need to run moonshine great distances fast in rural USA adopted cooking terms for their modified vehicles, but had to distinquish between these terms and the terms they used for their moonshine production - where boiling, simmering, hot, cold etc. would also apply (also fermenting, but that's more likely to apply to the stale vomit and spilled milk in the back of any Scenic/Picasso/Zafira middle-class virility badge these days).

    Pop culture was taking hold - it wasn't long until Andy Warhol was to be born - and his influence was already coming through. The 'shiners adopted soup terminology with varying degrees of success - supercharging and skimmed heads were no longer "compression", but "condensed", as you got more bang in a smaller space (remember that early American cars had engines approaching 20 litres per cylinder, so like the process of making the power of Univac pocket sized, engines also had to be miniaturised - early days! I remember when the first Youngsmobile (they renamed them Oldsmobiles later) was released you could stand a full grown man in one cylinder bore!).

    "Cream of" was an early form of water injection. "Noodle" was used to refer to the practise of adding additional leads from your magneto to the ignitors. "Won Ton" was the target weight and load capacity. "Cullen Skink" was the practise of getting in touch with the well known tuner/'shiner, Skink "Arthur" Rogers.

    So, clearly the term souped-up doesn't involve actual soup, but does have origins in food production.

  54. Gilbo


    ... even if he changed the wheel size or tampered with the speedometer the police can still do him for being on the road. Last I heard the law permits a speedometer deviation of no more than +/- 10% from actual speed. Any more and the car shouldn't be on the road.

  55. Steve

    speedo overread

    For those who do not know: speedos are allowed to overread by up to 10%+6.25mph for true speeds between 25 to 70mph. There is no limit for how much speedos over-read when above a true 70. In my experience with GPS devices, the factor of speedo over-read usually increases when above 70mph. 87 is a bit too far out.

    That ford could well have been doing around 120 – the driver is still a muppet for sharing the video though!

  56. Richard Kilpatrick

    Speedometer accuracy

    Analogue speedometers are rarely accurate; early digital ones are nearly as variable due to the drive mechanisms, though in recent years instrument packs have become fully electronic even when the display is analogue. A good example would be a car like the Ford Focus, where a control module reset (if you've removed the battery, perhaps, or reflashed the PCM) will result in all dials sweeping.

    My RX8's speedometer is an accurate instrument. It could be utterly accurate; the level of error (at least checked against GPS, which itself isn't 100%) is a constant 2mph overread; this increases slightly with tyre wear.

    Older cars which have been messed with can be insanely inaccurate; they usually take the speedometer drive from the gearbox via a (non electrical or electrical) cable to the mechanical dial. Changing anything after this point in the final drive will result in an inaccurate reading, regardless of the technology - wheel sizes, final drive ratio, speedometer head (some have different internal gearing, others just have different markings and assume that the gearbox output speed will be appropriate to the model of car they're fitted to). Some modern cars take the speed from the ABS sensors, which would only be inaccurate if the wheel diameter were changed.

    Due care and attention - using the mobile phone camera whilst driving, for example - is a fair prosecution based on available evidence. A further examination of the car would verify constructions and use validity - if the instruments are over-reading, under-reading (not supposed to under-read at all - a common thing to get boy racers on when they shove oversized wheels on their cars), tyres are of the correct type, etc. However, if an outright, clear cut speeding conviction results from the evidence as reported here, then someone should have sought legal assistance.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If you wanna go fast (particularly past primary schools and the like) - get a warrant card.

    Only one *unt in the story, and he was the one with the pointy hat

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So then "souped"

    is nowt to do with adding a super-charger and then being careless with spelling. Loved your response. In fact it was so good I couldn't figure out if your tongue was cheek-bound. :))

  59. Iain Leadley

    Speed Kills?

    Speed makes an accident worse but personally I think tail gating is way worse. 50mph on a motorway is safe but not 15 foot behind the car in front. From what I recall don't most accidents happen on slow roads not fast roads?

    Isn't the most dangerouse part of a motorway the hard shoulder?

    Speeding is easy to prove, easy to catch, brings revenue and makes solved crime rates soar. A camera is cheaper than an officer, can't phone in sick. Sadly the car owner is an easy target for everything even taxes.

  60. SeanR


    I'm so glad no-one got my point...

    That the internet is nothing more that another vehichle (geddit?) for exhibitionists and extroverts to participate in some willy-waving. (Of which car-owners are the worst type.)

    Or at least that's what it's become.



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