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Lockdown speeders: drivers exploit coronavirus restrictions to speed excessively

Lockdown speeders: drivers exploit coronavirus restrictions to speed excessively
'Lockdown speeding' has become a very unwelcome by-product of the Government's fight against coronavirus with 20 police forces catching their worst offenders at speeds in excess of 100mph, according to data analysed by the RAC as part of a freedom of information (FOI) request to all British police forces*.

The worst speeder in the first three weeks of the lockdown was caught in West Yorkshire driving at 151mph on the M62 motorway – a shocking 81mph over the speed limit. This was 11mph faster than the next fastest recorded which was 140mph on the A14 in Suffolk.

Six forces – The Met, Northamptonshire, Gwent, Staffordshire, Kent and Humberside – all caught motorists driving at speeds in excess of 130mph and three others – Police Scotland, The Met and Lancashire – recorded drivers at speeds over 120mph.

The highest speed seen in a 40mph limit was 134mph – a frightening 94mph above the limit – recorded by the Met on the A10 in North London. Derbyshire Constabulary also caught a driver going at 108mph on the M1 – 68mph above the speed limit. The only other force whose highest speed was in a 40mph limit was Bedfordshire – here the driver was clocked at 104mph on Airport Way in Luton.

Only three forces saw their worst speeding offences occur in 50mph limits, with South Wales Police recording by far the worst with a driver being caught at 108mph on the M4 at Port Talbot. Four constabularies captured their worst speeding offences in 60mph limits with a driver in West Mercia snapped at 92mph on the M5 between junctions five and six.

While only one force – Durham Constabulary – caught their fastest speeder in a 30mph limit (44mph), nationally the first three weeks of the coronavirus lockdown still produced 17,363 speeding offences in 30mph limits (in the 30 force areas which responded to the RAC's FOI) compared to 40,497 in the same period in 2019.

RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said: "Some of the speeds police forces have caught drivers doing are truly shocking. At such high speeds there is virtually no time to react should anything unexpected happen in front such as a car changing lanes at the last second or a vehicle having to brake suddenly.

"Clearly, some drivers have taken advantage of quieter roads to speed excessively putting the lives of others at risk at the worst possible time, but at the same time it's encouraging that so many police forces have taken firm action even during the lockdown, which sends a strong message to other would-be offenders.

"While the most of highest speeds were 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.

"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."

Police force

Highest speed detected (mph)

Speed limit where recorded

Mph over the limit

Stretch of road

Time of day

West Yorkshire Police

151

70

81

M62

21:55

Suffolk Constabulary

140

70

70

A14

Not provided

Northamptonshire Police

138

70

68

M1 J17-J16

21:11

Gwent Police

136

70

66

M4 J23a-J24

Not provided

Staffordshire Police

135

70

65

Not provided

Not provided

Metropolitan Police

134

40

94

A10 N London

Not provided

Kent Police

132

70

62

M20

16:00-17:00

Humberside Police

130

70

60

M62 J35

11:43

Police Scotland

128

70

58

A77 Southbound btwn Monkton & Sandyford

13:56

Lancashire Constabulary

120

70

50

M6 J35-J33 & M65

05:30 & 21:30

Merseyside Police

115

70

45

M6 Southbound J24-23

15:21

North Wales Police

111

70

41

A55

12:46

Norfolk Constabulary

110

70

40

A11

Not provided

Derbyshire Constabulary

108

40

68

M1 (N)

20:33

West Midlands Police

108

70

38

M5 J3-J4

Not provided

South Wales Police

108

50

58

M4 - Port Talbot

23:51

Gloucestershire Constabulary

106

70

36

M5

08:00 & 12:00

Bedfordshire Constabulary

104

40

64

Airport Way Luton

10:02

Devon & Cornwall Police

101

70

31

A38 Haldon Hill

14:00-18:00

Hampshire Constabulary

101

70

31

A331

18:28

Cheshire Constabulary

95

70

25

M56 & M6 - 5 vehicles

5 vehicles

West Mercia Police

92

60

32

M5 J5-J6

05:07

Cumbria Constabulary

89

60

29

A590

Morning

South Yorkshire Police

88

60

28

A616 (T) East past A629 Exit Barnsley

Not provided

Dyfed-Powys Police

88

60

28

A483 - Belan

12:26pm

Cleveland Police

86

70

16

A19

16:25

Northumbria Police

86

70

16

A1 Felton by Pass

Midday

Dorset Police

73

50

23

A31 St Leonards

10:00-11:00

Leicestershire Police

58

50

8

A47 Uppingham Road, Billesdon

09:07

Durham Constabulary

44

30

14

Watling Street, Consett

11:52

 

*Article Source www.rac.com