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Speed limits still matter during the coronavirus lockdown

Speed limits still matter during the coronavirus lockdown

ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is asking drivers to pay close attention to the speeds they use whilst out and about during the current period of lockdown.

GEM says that speed limits continue to apply and that ignoring them brings significantly increased risks. In London alone, for example, eight people have died and many others have been seriously injured in road collisions, with speeding being the most frequent factor identified by police.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth commented: “Restrictions on movement in the past three weeks have led to sharp drops in vehicle use. But police chiefs across the country have been sharing examples of shocking behaviour by drivers who appear to be using the quieter roads as an opportunity to flout the speed limits.

“Speeding increases the risk of a collision which could lead to a serious injury or even a fatality. In today’s climate that puts unnecessary pressure on the NHS and could potentially deprive a desperate Covid-19 patient of vital medical care.

“We can help reduce this pressure if we are on essential journeys in the coming days and weeks - by respecting all speed limits, by challenging others who don’t see speeding as a problem and by treating all speeding as socially unacceptable.”

Examples shared on social media include:

An Audi recorded at 105mph on a 60mph stretch of the A13 east of London. The driver said he didn’t realise he was going that fast as the road was quiet.

A Mercedes followed by police on the M1 in Leicestershire at speeds of up to 151mph. As officers caught up with the driver he ‘slowed to 110’.

A driver stopped on the A10 in north London for driving at 60mph in a 40 limit. The driver was stopped at 67 on the same stretch of road the very next day.

Three drivers on the A14 in Suffolk last week were detected at speeds of 102, 103 and 109mph.

GEM’s top tips for slowing down

Don’t rush on a journey. Leave earlier and ensure you have plenty of time, with no reason to speed.

Keep a close eye out for speed limit signs, and watch for clues that the speed limit may soon be about to change.

Scan the speedometer frequently so you always know your own speed.

Always ask yourself: is my speed both legal and safe? After all, the speed limit is just that – a limit, not a target, and there will be circumstances when you will feel much safer driving below the limit.

Follow GEM on Twitter @MotoringAssist for the latest industry news.

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