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School Revs Up Driving Safety Ratings for Films

28 Jan, 2002 By: Hive News

A driving instruction company is capitalizing on the recent video release of Universal Studios Home Video's The Fast and the Furious, seizing on the potential influence on young people.

Nevermind that the Universal release opens with a "kids don' try this at home"-style disclaimer from star Paul Walker, whose role puts him in one of the movie's focal driver's seats.

Top Driver has created its own rating system to "identify films that depict unsafe driving."

"We are instituting a rating system for movies," said Top Driver CEO Sebastian Giordano. "It's very simple: movies that portray driving responsibly, are given an ‘S' for ‘Safe Driving', while those that portray driving irresponsibly or in an unsafe, dangerous manner are given a ‘D' for ‘Dangerous Driving.' We want teens and parents to know that when they watch movies like The Fast and the Furious, which we rate a ‘D,' they should be extra careful when viewing the driving sequences. These films feature professional stunt drivers. People should understand that what they are doing on the screen is not cool, it is dangerous and, in fact, could get you or someone else injured or killed."

Several jurisdictions, noteably Los Angeles, reported an increase in illegal street racing in the weeks following the theatrical release of The Fast and the Furious.

"We're living in an age in which vehicle crashes are the largest single cause of death for young people under 25," said Giordano. "We cannot stand idly by and watch the major film companies project irresponsible, dangerous driving in movies, which creates the impression among youth that somehow this kind of behavior is cool. While there are dynamic, emotional feelings of freedom, excitement and independence that come from getting a driver's license or buying your first car, irresponsible and dangerous driving is not cool -- it is a threat to public safety. The entertainment industry must stop portraying dangerous driving in a positive light and we must begin holding them accountable for the attitudes they are fostering in our youth."

The new rating system and related information will be available soon at topdriver.com.

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