/ 20 October 2008

From YouTube to jail

A motorcyclist who posted a video on the internet of him riding at speeds up to 208km/h and doing dangerous stunts in Britain was jailed for 12 weeks on Monday.

A clip posted on video-sharing website YouTube showed Sandor Ferenci (28) performing a variety of motorcycle tricks, including wheelies and skids, on his Yamaha R6 bike as well as racing on the wrong side of the road near Oxford, central England, in June.

Prosecutors said a motorist who observed Ferenci’s stunts took down his registration number and passed it to police, who traced him to his home.

When officers arrived to question him, at the time unaware of the internet clip, Ferenci immediately asked: ”Is this about the YouTube video?”

Police then viewed the footage, filmed by a friend from various angles, which showed Ferenci performing skids, wheelies and wheel spins, causing the tyres to smoke and driving at excessive speeds.

Though prosecutors were not able to specify the maximum speed he had driven at, they estimated he may have reached speeds of up to 208km/h.

Judge Terence Maher told Ferenci, who works as a caregiver for an elderly woman, that he posed a risk both to himself and other road users, adding that the 12-week sentence was intended to send a message that ”if you drive in this way and are caught, serious consequences will follow”.

In addition to the jail sentence, Ferenci, who pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving, was also barred from driving for two years and told he would have to take an extended driving test before he is allowed on the road again. — Sapa-AFP