PLEASE slow down.

That's really all I ask. Anyone who has driven through Glasgow's City Centre late in the evening will know exactly what I mean.

Young men, usually, in souped up cars driving too fast and too carelessly.

Sometimes it's very late at night and you can be the only car on Renfield Street not involved in some convoy or drag race with other vehicles.

Sometimes it's only early evening and the roads are busy with buses, taxis and other cars.

It can be frightening to be tailgated or sharply overtaken. They time their manoeuvres to within a hair-'s-breadth, meaning the slightest unexpected move and you've crashed.

Occasionally I've had cars of boys drive alongside me down Renfield Street or along St Vincent Street.

They put the windows down and will catcall.

I actually prefer those boys because at least I know they've seen me. For some of the young guys you wonder if they've spotted that you're there at all, in their haste to get past you.

I'd call these chaps boys racers but the police seem to use the term "car enthusiasts".

They clearly are enthusiastic about their vehicles. It's obvious that a lot of work and attention goes into the detailing and designing - works of art on four wheels.

But it's an unusual hobby, an unusual form of creativity, when it is a hobby that can kill.

In 2010 I interviewed the father of Alastair Harvie, a then-17-year-old school pupil who was hit by a driver in a speeding car that ran through a red light at the junction of St Vincent Street and Hope Street.

Alastair, a promising young student and talented sportsman, was left in a coma with very little chance of recovery.

His father, Douglas, appealed in this paper for information about the driver who had seriously injured his son then driven away.

Police said the suspect was part of Glasgow's "car racing community". The windscreen of the vehicle would have been completely shattered, likely the bonnet dented.

The car must have been taken somewhere for repairs and yet no one came forward.

Remarkably, Alastair lived and went through a gruelling period of recovery, learning to walk and talk again. His memory was impaired, he was left partially blind and deaf in one ear.

The driver was eventually caught and sentenced to 19 months in prison, a shorter time than the two years it took Alastair to recover.

I think about Alastair often but I think about him every time one of these young enthusiasts roars past my car using Hope Street, Renfield Street or Union Street as their own private race track.

On Thursday night I was at a cross junction when a young man in a car ran through his red light and narrowly, narrowly missed smashing into the bonnet of my car as he took the corner too sharply.

I honked my horn and in response he casually gave me the middle finger.

I wonder how you develop that attitude. The attitude that means when you are caught doing something unequivocally wrong you respond with complete belligerence.

I wonder how belligerent he would be to crash. To fatally injury a stranger or one of his own passengers. Would he give the finger at the thought of leaving his parents without a son.

Eight years on from Alastair Harvie's accident, little seems to have changed. The city centre is a nighttime racetrack.

Please, slow down.