Police forces have caught so called ‘lockdown speeders’ travelling at well over 100mph in locations across the country, prompting concerns that some motorists are putting lives at risk by taking advantage of quieter road conditions.
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Freedom of Information requests reveal that 20 British police forces caught drivers exceeding 100mph during the first three weeks of lockdown. The fastest was observed in West Yorkshire driving at 151mph on the M62.
Another driver was seen at 140mph on the A14 in Suffolk, while the highest speed captured on a road with a 40mph limit was 134mph, recorded by the Metropolitan Police on the A10 in north London.
The Freedom of Information requests were lodged by motoring group the RAC. Its road safety spokesman Simon Williams said: “Clearly, some drivers have taken advantage of quieter roads to speed excessively putting the lives of others at risk at the worst possible time.”
He added: “While the most of highest speeds recorded were on motorways, some occurred on roads with much lower speed limits, which is an even greater concern. The figures for speeding offences on 30mph roads are particularly worrying as far more people have been walking and cycling due to the lockdown.”
The first three weeks of the Coronavirus lockdown produced 17,363 speeding offences on routes with 30mph limits across the total of 30 police force areas which responded to the Freedom of Information requests. This compares to 40,497 in the same period last year.
“As some schools and nurseries in England begin to open their doors from this week there will be even more pedestrians on the roads so we urge every driver to obey the speed limit and keep all road users safe,” said Simon Williams.
Also commenting on the statistics, road safety group Brake’s director of campaigns said: “The shocking speeds in these figures show arrogance, stupidity and a frankly disgusting lack of regard for the safety of others. We hope these individuals are punished to the fullest extent of the law.
“We urgently need a complete overhaul of our road culture, with speeding no longer tolerated and cycling and walking given priority investment. Lockdown has shown the value people place in quieter, safer streets and we must do all we can to maintain this momentum, starting with setting an example to those who brazenly flout the law and endanger lives.”
(Photograph: Swampy167 – Shutterstock)