Road safety officials in Co Mayo have warned that 'boy racer' meet-ups, "reminiscent of scenes from Hollywood film franchise Fast and Furious" have soared in popularity since the first national lockdown last year.
A statement from Mayo County Council road safety officer, Noel Gibbons said the meetings being held in industrial estates and on rural roads are putting lives at risks, adding: "A new plague of bored boy racers is driving rural residents round the bend."
"In the early days of lockdown there was a particular problem with drivers speeding on quitter roads," Mr Gibbons said.
"Whereas the Gardaí quickly cracked down on this speeding, we’re concerned these cruising-style events appear to be proliferating out from the larger towns into rural areas, where local youths have discovered their roads are much quieter at night and are difficult to monitor with look-outs and advertising the meet ups on social media channels, but the Gardaí still have managed to seize some vehicles because of some modifications made to them that renders them unroadworthy," he added.
'Scourge of boy racers'
The council has decided to start a CCTV campaign, aiming to "stamp out the scourge of boy racers doing donuts on public road endangering their lives and the lives of others".
The CCTV cameras will be placed, with relevant signage, at known locations where the events are taking place, and the footage will then be forwarded to Gardaí.
A Garda spokesperson from Castlebar Garda station warned against 'boy racer' events, saying: "All it takes is one mistake, a lapse in concentration, or one fault with a vehicle for something to go tragically wrong."
"Acts of excessive speeding, drifting, and ‘donuts’ on public roads are dangerous and undertaken without any consideration for other road users," the spokesperson added.
A number of covert and high-visibility operations have also been planned by gardaí in the area.