Streaming while driving is becoming a real issue for Twitch as IRL streamers continue growing in prominence. Today, Twitch banned yet another streamer who was reading chat and taking her hands off the wheel to adjust the camera. Unfortunately, the streamer was only one of many reckless drivers on Twitch.
As a global platform, driving law vary from state to state and country to country. So far, we've seen Twitch take action when the streamers is caught breaking local motor vehicle laws on stream while dozens more reckless drivers around the world continue to put lives in danger. If it continues, there's a chance we'll see streaming while driving banned on Twitch entirely.
Today, streamers Bri and Katie had their channel banned for driving recklessly last night. In the clip, Bri is eating a bucket of ice cream with both hands, while looking at the stream, adjusting the camera, and driving with her knees. She's really taking multi-tasking to the next level. When chat tells her to hold the steering wheel, Katie defensively snaps back "She IS holding the steering wheel!" No, she is not.
Another Streamer yesterday recorded himself driving dangerously in Poland. In the clip, you can see him speeding through cross-walks, forcing pedestrians to jump out the way. It's clear that he is doing this intentionally, as after each time you can hear him and his car-mate giggling to each other.
Streaming and driving recklessly, even drunk driving, has been an issue on the streaming platform Periscope from the beginning. In fact, it isn't uncommon for viewers to call the police on these drivers. In 2015, Periscoper Marie Beall streamed herself drunk driving for over 40 minutes. Viewers called police, and Beall was arrested and charged with a DUI. Now, as IRL streamers continue to gain popularity on Twitch, the problem is only getting worse.
Popular Austin-based streamer Mitch Jones was banned for a week at the end of June for streaming while driving, he was back on Twitch a week later, but according to his housemate Kbubblez, Mitch didn't learn his lesson, as he crashed his car while texting during his Twitch ban.
Kbubblez, for her part, has a pretty egregious driving record herself. In this clip you can see her blow 3 stop signs in a row, and curse out a driver with right-of-way that narrowly avoids hitting her.
Something is going to need to be done to address this problem sooner or later or we're going to have our first fatality streamed live on Twitch and I suspect that isn't the kind of press they want. Banning driving all together might negatively impact IRL streamers, but if it saves lives, isn't it worth it?