- Jul 21, 2009
Top Gear draws fire for 'glorifying' 210 MPH ticket. Only it's a fake. [w/VIDEO]
Top Gear talks Bugatti speeding ticket – click above to watch video after the jump
ESPN sports columnist Bill Simmons proposed a 72-hour reportage moratorium for the web – that way, news could be vetted before was broadcast to the entire universe. Had that been in effect, the story of Orange County resident Philip Robert Odegard might not have ended up on Top Gear and then upsetting Scottish authorities.
Odegard posted an image of a speeding ticket on his Flickr page. The ticket claimed he was busted doing 210 mph in a Bugatti Veyron in a "65 mph max" zone. Odegard's epic tale made it into the latest episode of Top Gear, where the hosts excitedly talked about the speeding ticket in their news section. Scottish Councillor Mike Raeburn then lambasted Top Gear for refusing "to see the effect this continual reinforcement of the 'speed is good' message has on viewers, particularly younger ones." The head of the Scottish Campaign Against Irresponsible Drivers also had harsh words for Top Gear.
The issue here, however, isn't speeding – it's speciousness. Odegard wasn't busted in a Veyron doing 210. According to some digging done by the O.C. Register, Odegard wasn't busted by the California Highway Patrol at that speeds in any car, let alone a Bugatti. He was clipped in a 2004 Infiniti doing 100. Which is a tale that probably wouldn't have ended up on Top Gear. Somewhere, at the bottom of this, though, it's still all Jeremy Clarkson's fault. You can watch the footage in question after the jump (talk of the ticket comes at around 4:15).
[Sources: Scotsman; O.C. Register; YouTube]