Photo/Story Gallery 2003
FHP vs. MTV
On the afternoon of February 20, 2003, FHP’s Pensacola Communications Center started receiving numerous *FHP calls from motorists traveling on Interstate 10 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, complaining of a fleet of sports cars driving eastbound at extremely high speeds and passing cars recklessly. An apparent road race was underway in the Panhandle on one of Florida’s interstates. FHP immediately broadcast the BOLO to all law enforcement agencies in the area.
At approximately 3:00 p.m., drivers of a convertible Mercedes Benz, BMW, and a Lamborghini that were stopped in the emergency lane of the interstate were warned by an FHP Corporal patrolling that stretch of interstate to obey the posted speed limit. The sports car drivers said they were waiting for a film crew to arrive by helicopter.
A short time later, Sergeant Roy Brooks clocked an eastbound Mercedes and Lamborghini at 102 miles per hour, operating in a reckless manner. Upon attempting to merge into traffic and overtake the violators, Sgt. Brooks saw seven more sports cars, including a Lamborghini, Ferrari, and two BMWs zipping by at speeds of well over 100 miles per hour. Upon observing the FHP Camaro, the sports cars were forced to slow down, and were eventually pulled over to the shoulder. Sgt. Brooks arrested the drivers for Willful and Wanton Reckless Driving.
Afterward, it was revealed that the drivers were traveling from Los Angeles to Daytona Beach as part of a road rally race. The drivers stated that the Florida leg of their journey was being taped via in-car video cameras and helicopter, and would appear on MTV as part of a Spring Break episode. Later that evening, the drivers of the two vehicles that got away were captured in Holmes and Leon counties, and escorted back to Walton County for charges.
Thanks to Sgt. Brooks’ efforts, several drivers who insisted upon speeding and exhibiting reckless behavior were removed from Florida’s roadways before seriously endangering other motorists. Thanks, also, to the concerned citizens who dialed *FHP on their cellular phone to report the illegal actions of the road rally drivers, and helped law enforcement prevent a potentially dangerous situation on one of our interstates.