Fleet News

Business drivers break speed limits during lockdown

speeding car

Business drivers are among those flouting speed limits, with new data showing an increase in incidents despite a reduction in miles driven.

Greater Manchester Police said it has caught 6,200 drivers breaking the speed limit in the first month of lockdown.

It reported a 57% increase in vehicles travelling above the speed limit, with other forces reporting 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.

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.

Data from VisionTrack’s IoT platform shows that fleet and road transport drivers are among those speeding during the lockdown, with overall incidents increasing by 2.6% despite a 22.6% reduction in the number of miles driven.

Richard Lane, commercial director at VisionTrack, said: “These findings show that fleet and transport operations cannot lose focus or become complacent about the dangers of irresponsible and illegal driving.

“Businesses need to engage with their drivers to ensure they understand their responsibilities during the lockdown and are aware of the potential threat not only to life but also brand reputation.”

The video telematics specialist used Autonomise.ai, its next generation IoT platform, to analyse the data, comparing speeding and harsh driving events in February, prior to the lockdown, with those that occurred in April when restrictions had been implemented.

It shows that average monthly speeding events rose from 53.09 to 64.62 per vehicle, an increase of 22%, while the distance between speeding events dropped from one every 30.7 miles to one every 23.15 miles, a decrease of 25%.

However, harsh driving events excluding speeding reduced by 28% in April during the lockdown, including a decrease in harsh braking (32%), harsh turning (23%) and harsh accelerating (13%).

VisionTrack suggests that the reductions were due to speeding and aggressive drivers not being held up as much by other road users due to the significantly lower levels of traffic on the roads.

The speeding data comes after Lex Autolease released figures showing the volume of motoring fines and penalties incurred by company car and van drivers increased by 3% in 2019.

However, that compares to a 60% year-on-year cumulative increase over the past three years, suggesting a slower rate of increase than in previous years.

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