Truth be told now, people have been doing crazy modifications on their cars and then doing even crazier stunts with them since forever. It just wasn’t trumpeted to the entire world, because this only became possible with the incredible platform of social media – which is also where it was spun into a highly profitable career and where, after a while, it degenerated into dangerous behavior that sets a negative example.
Police in Queensland, Australia, believe Sammy Eyles is guilty of that. Scroll on any of his channels and you’ll see a variety of modified vehicles being put through their paces, either on the outback or on public roads. Silly Sid is one such vehicle: a short-wheelbase car that Eyles bought from a circus and which he’s been showing off, taking it at the drive-through, speeding, doing wheelies, and rolling it in a ditch, among others.
went viral, police decided to have a more thorough look at his social channels. This week, Eyles was charged with a series of offenses related to a September 30 raid at his property on the Sunshine Coast.
In the press release announcing the charges, police stress just how dangerous the apparently cutesy clown car was, down to the fuel system that was made up of a plastic jerrycan attached to a rubber hose. Not only was the car dangerous in and of itself, but it was also (obviously) not registered and not in compliance with safety standards, and was operated in such a reckless manner as to represent a danger for every traffic participant, including Eyles and his crew.
Perhaps even worse, the police say, was the fact that Eyles filmed all this and then posted the videos to his social media, basically telling his hundreds of thousands of followers that this kind of behavior was ok. Police are determined to turn Eyles into an example, so they’re bringing the hammer down on him.
“Putting not only your own life at risk, but those of your mates for the sake of social media notoriety is childish and selfish behavior,” Superintendent Hawkins says. “Sharing these antics with his large contingent of online followers has come at a significant financial cost, both in fines and the loss of vehicles. Our message to anyone taking part in foolish and high-risk activities or thinking you can push modified, unsafe vehicles to the limit is that we will continue to target you, investigate and take action.”
defective vehicle, two counts of driving without a seat belt, and other smaller offenses. Silly Sid and other vehicles found on his property were impounded, and the properties of nine of his associates were also raided. No word on whether other vehicles were seized, but police did issue 70 Traffic Infringement Notices (TINs), with a combined total of 99 associated demerit points and fines of AUD$27,800 (US$18,677).
Eyles is due in court on December 12, but he’s already issued a statement to the media and admitted to “f***ing up.” “I shouldn’t have driven the car on the road,” he says. “All my cars are off the road because they’re all bloody dangerous, apparently. You gotta just be a bit more careful about what you do online – you’re in the spotlight all the time.”
There’s a tinge of sarcasm in there, and it becomes more apparent if you watch any of Eyles’ recent videos. At the end of the day, no matter how hard the police are trying to make him into an example, and despite the controversy he keeps feeding, on whether such behavior should be kept off public roads or not, he’s laughing all the way to the bank.
@sammyeyles Reply to @kazeread ? original sound - Sammy Eyles
@sammyeyles Testing went well… ???? #SID ? original sound - Sammy Eyles