Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in 'Fast Five' (Universal)
MORE drivers were clocked excessively speeding after watching The Fast and the Furious, a study claims.
The number of drivers caught near cinemas doing more than 40mph above the limit doubled, with boffins blaming their reaction to watching the popular franchise about illegal street racing.
Experts say the research, carried out in the US, may be a rare example of a movie changing viewers’ behaviour.
Researchers studied almost 200,000 traffic tickets issued by American cops in the state of Maryland over the past five years – and matched the results with Fast and the Furious opening weekends.
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Although ticket numbers did not rise, the speeds clocked were far higher than normal. Anupam Jena, of Harvard Medical School, said: “We can see a clear increase in the average speed. But there was not an increase in number.
“It seems to take people already prone to driving fast and make them drive faster.”
Paul Walker, who died in a car crash in 2013, starred in the movies with Vin Diesel.
Jena wanted to study the effects of film influencing behaviour.
He said: “There is a lot of discussion about how movies and other media influence behaviour. But it’s hard to study.”
He said it’s difficult to assess if violent films encourage violence because most people are simply not violent and added: “Changing someone’s behaviour to make them more violent is hard. It’s not hard to take someone who is already driving, and make them faster.”
But he added he would never want films to be censored, saying: “I really like the Fast and the Furious movies. They’re good. I just watch them from the safety of my home.”
This article originally appeared in The Sun