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Coronavirus: Thousands of drivers caught speeding

speeding car

Drivers are being urged to slow down during the lockdown after Greater Manchester Police said it has caught 6,200 drivers breaking the speed limit since Monday, March 23.

With all non-essential travel currently banned under Government guidance, the majority of people are staying at home and if they need to go out, they are sticking to the speed limits.

Department for Transport (DfT) data shows motor vehicle use in Great Britain has fallen by two thirds over the past month.

However, Greater Manchester Police has seen an 57% increase in vehicles travelling above the speed limit over the past few weeks and other forces have reported similar problems.

One driver was recorded at 115mph on a 40mph road in Greater Manchester, while another was clocked at 134mph in a 40mph limit in London.

Superintendent Julie Ellison from GMP’s Specialist Operations Team said: “Sadly we have seen a huge increase in speeding offences and numerous examples of drivers who are putting their own lives and others at risk.

“My officers are working tirelessly to track down these offenders who are using the quieter roads as their own personal racetrack.”

Scottish police reported a man was recorded travelling at more than 130mph on the A90 between Peterhead and Ellon, Aberdeenshire, on April 12, while a driver was stopped in Sudbury, Suffolk, travelling at 80mph in a 30mph limit with no insurance and no driving licence.

Police in Wales, meanwhile, have seen speeds of 114mph in a 70mph limit on the A55 in Rhuallt Hill, another at 105mph in a 60mph limit on the A5 in Halton, Wrexham, and a third at 104mph in a 70mph limit on the A48 in Pensarn, Carmarthen.

Nick Lloyd, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “We’re alarmed by the latest reports of speeding across the UK, and the reckless disregard with which some drivers treat the rules of the road just because they are more quiet than usual.

“Excessive speed at any time is dangerous, and you put other people, as well as yourself, at risk of death or serious injury. Please don’t be selfish, and stick to the limit – it’s there for a reason.”

Lloyd says that drivers also need to be extra vigilant given the lockdown.

“There are currently more children, pedestrians and cyclists out and about for their daily exercise, all throughout the day,” he said.

“Additionally, if you cause a crash, you will be putting frontline resources and health professionals under needless strain at a time when they should be dealing with getting the pandemic under control.”


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