Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 09:36 UK

Top Gear criticised over speeding

Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson's comments were criticised for their impact

The BBC motoring programme Top Gear has being criticised for its attitude to speed, in the wake of recent road deaths in the north east of Scotland.

Councillor Mike Raeburn, convener of the Grampian Fire and Rescue Joint Board, has written to Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson.

He said presenter Jeremy Clarkson appeared amused about a vehicle travelling at 210mph in a 60mph zone.

The BBC said it would respond to any communications on the matter.

Mr Raeburn claims the programme could have a negative influence on the behaviour of younger drivers.

'Undermines efforts'

He said: "It is with complete incredulity that I watched the most recent edition of the BBC's Top Gear programme when a speeding ticket from America was produced showing a vehicle travelling at 210mph in a 60mph zone.

"The presenters, led by Mr Clarkson, seemed to find this hugely amusing, further reinforcing the programme's theme that inappropriate speed is OK.

"There is apparently a culture within the production team that refuses to see the effect that this continual reinforcement of the 'speed is good' message has on the viewers, particularly the younger ones."

He explained: "We know awareness training has a positive effect on driving behaviour but the continual negation of this message by the Top Gear programme effectively undermines all the good our campaign is doing."

Mr Raeburn called on Mr Stevenson to take up the matter with the BBC.

A BBC spokesperson said: "If Mike Raeburn or Stewart Stevenson would like to contact the BBC about these concerns, they will be responded to in due course."



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