‘Utterly shocking’ - West Midlands leaders condemn street racing in Birmingham after videos surface online
West Midlands leaders speak out against dangerous driving in Birmingham and the West Midlands as police launch an appeal for dash cam of incidents
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West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Cycling & Walking Commissioner Adam Tranter have expressed their outrage after videos of street racing in Birmingham show drivers performing dangerous stunts. Street racing is banned in Birmingham as an injunction is in place to stop anyone gathering to race or perform stunts in cars, motorbikes or quad bikes.
Despite the injunction, latest videos on TikTok show speeding cars performing tricks like the Fast and Furious movies on the roads of Birmingham. One video shows cars performing a drift while several onlookers watch on.
Mr. Tranter told BirminghamWorld that the most common locations for street racing are the Bordesley Circus roundabout and the A47/Heartlands Parkway in Nechells. A search on TikTok revealed dozens of street racing videos on the streets of Birmingham. A search on TikTok revealed dozens of street racing videos on the streets of Birmingham.
In 2019, Birmingham was recognised as street racing capital in the UK after the DVLA released statistics showing that the city had the most drivers convicted of ‘motor racing on the highway’.
Road safety has long been an issue in the city with several demonstrations having taken place over the past year over road deaths. Mr Tranter spoke out as West Midlands Police released footage of careless and dangerous drivers in the region who have all been prosecuted - thanks to road users sending them dash cam footage. The force is appealing for more local people to send any footage of incidents that they capture to them.
Street racing related arrests in the West Midlands
Only one driver has been convicted for breaching Birmingham’s current street cruising injunction so far. Mohammed Shabbir, 24, has been given a criminal record after he was spotted on Small Heath Highway during an illegal car meet on February 5, 2023. Shabbir pulled off a garage forecourt in front of officers from Operation Hercules - West Midlands Police’s dedicated operation to tackle illegal street racing and cruising.
He was spotted overtaking and undertaking vehicles at speed and was quickly arrested. Shabbir, of Twyford Road, Ward End, admitted breaching the injunction and was given a jail sentence of 31 days, suspended for 12 months, when he appeared at Birmingham High Court.
In July 2023, a 39-year-old Birmingham man was spotted racing a vehicle on Heartlands Parkway in Nechells and was taken into custody.
What Cycling & Walking Commissioner Adam Tranter said about street racing
Mr. Tranter said: “If you want to understand the scale of the challenge in road safety, watch this video of street racing in #Birmingham. This happens most evenings putting ordinary road users and pedestrians in severe danger. It is publicised, celebrated and shared for all to see on social media.
“Tackling this on the evening is challenging because of the sheer scale of the offending. This is why, in my opinion, the system needs to tackle dangerous driving, illegal tints, dodgy number plates, bad parking with zero tolerance: every time we see it at a neighbourhood level.
“Police proactively stung over 10 vehicles last night (September 9) alone which is to be welcomed. Street racing is just one part of the road safety challenge but a clear example of how road crime blights our communities, making it unsafe to go out and preventing local people from sleeping.”
What West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said about street racing
Mr. Street said: “Utterly shocking. @adamtranter is absolutely right to call this out and he has my full support in his work to tackle it. Pedestrians and sensible road users’ minimum right is to feel safe, which is why we’re working with our partners to tackle this kind of driving across the WM.”
West Midlands Police appeal for dashcam footage of careless and dangerous driving
Police say they have released clips of careless and dangerous drivers - which you can see at the top of this story - to show how evidence provided by drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can help officers make the roads safer, and encourage more people to submit their footage. The clips include:
- The shocking moment a driver mounted the pavement to overtake a vehicle, narrowly missing an oncoming car - the motorist was banned from driving for a year, given a community order and fined £160
- A driver who came dangerously close to a cyclist at a junction – they were given six points on their licence and a £200 fine for careless driving and driving without insurance
- A careless driver who overtook a car and went through a red light – given three points and a £400 fine
- A VW driver overtaking carelessly – given five points and their licence and a £500 fine
- A motorist parked on zig zag lines outside a school – the registered keeper failed to tell police who was driving and was banned from driving for six months and issued with £300 in fines
A spokesperson for WMP said: “Road safety is a priority for West Midlands Police and partners including Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), West Midlands Police (WMP), local authorities and the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner. We joined forces under the Operation Triton banner earlier this year to pledge action to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.
“We’ve recently bolstered the Traffic Investigations Unit, which looks at footage submitted through the portal. In August, we acted, such as issuing fixed penalties, court summons, warnings or education, in more than half (294) of the 557 cases that were sent to us.
“Of the cases we didn’t act on, more than half either had no video evidence in the submission or were from outside the West Midlands. Others were linked to ongoing criminal investigations so were sent on to investigating officers, while a small number showed no offences.”
How do I send footage of careless and dangerous driving to West Midlands Police?
On Monday (September 11), police said that they advised a member of the public that officers had issued a warning to a motorist whose driving they had filmed and submitted.
The member of the public replied: “Thank you so much for your intervention. It is reassuring that West Midlands Police will not tolerate reckless driving in our city, especially in the light of recent incidents near our schools. Keep up the fantastic work!”
If you want to help police and send dash cam footage of careless and dangerous driving in Birmingham and the West Midlands you can submit it here: Operation snap driving standards