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Is The Fast and the Furious causing a surge in speeding?

The smash hit film franchise The Fast and the Furious could be causing a surge in speeding motorists, according to new research.

In recent years police departments around the US have increased patrols near cinemas when each new instalment of the franchise was released

The researchers, led by Anupam Jena, an economist and physician at Harvard Medical School, wanted to see if there was any evidence to support the idea that the film encouraged speeding.

Unveiling their findings in The New York Times, they describe how they used data from Montgomery County in Maryland to examine all speeding tickets there from 2012 to 2017. 

The first film in the franchise, starring Vin Diesel, came out in 2001. The researchers focused on the dates between 2012 and 2017 when three more films in the series were released.

Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 8

The team looked at the 192,892 speeding tickets recorded and analysed the average miles per hour over the speed limit that drivers were charged with going on a given day. They found a significant increase in the average speed of drivers the weekends after a Fast and Furious film had been released. 

“Comparing the three weekends before each movie’s release with the three weekends after, we found that the speeds people were given tickets for increased almost 20 per cent, to an average of 19 miles per hour over the speed limit, from 16 miles per hour,” the authors wrote. 

“We also found that rates of extreme speeding increased. 

“For example, the percentage of drivers charged with driving more than 40 miles per hour above the speed limit nearly doubled.

“Additionally, using data on latitude and longitude reported in the tickets, we found that increases in this extreme speeding were concentrated in areas close to movie theatres (often within two miles), consistent with speeding behavior induced by moviegoing.”

The analysts also carried out the same study to coincide with the release of a non-car chase film – The Hunger Games – and found that there was no increase in speeding.

The ninth film in the franchise, a spin-off entitled Hobbs and Shaw, is expected to be released in late 2019 or early 2020.

A tenth film is also in pre-production.

Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/06/fast-furious-causing-surge-speeding/

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