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Police see dangerous driving stunts online

Posted at 6:21 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 22:35:50-05

Pinellas Park Police Department is asking for the public's help identifying a reckless driver who was captured on the app SnapChat doing doughnuts in the middle of 66 Street North.

"Oh my God!" those capturing video of the incident said. "He's going to cause an accident!"

The video shows a white car entering traffic on 66 Street North, doing a series of doughnuts and forcing cars to slam on the brakes.

Pinellas Park police said they're seeing more young people pulling dangerous stunts like this, and they're being posted to social media. That is no surprise to driving instructors with the Suncoast Safety Council.

"Everybody wants to show off," said Ed Maurer, Suncoast Safety Council Instructor. "That's human nature."

Maurer said parents should install apps like Eyes Up, MamaBear and The Canary Project on their child's cellphones. All block incoming texts, calls and social media access when the car is in motion.

They can also send driving alerts to parents about speed, and offer other critical information to parents.

"What kinds of content they might be posting at any time," said Mitch Neff, a local digital media strategist. "Even while driving, while not driving."

This comes just weeks after a fiery crash in Philadelphia that killed three young girls. Family members said the girls were using SnapChat to record their speed at 73 miles an hour.

Now, driving experts said parents need to talk with their kids and prepare to limit their access while on the road. SnapChat does have a warning before users operate the app to not snap and drive, but driving instructors say it's still better for parents to block access to SnapChat for teens while driving.

 "It's better to be a good parent and take away that availability," Maurer said.

If you have any information on the driver recorded in Pinellas Park, police ask you call and report it at 727-369-7864.