Motorists are advised to take great care if they are using on the road during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown as recent figurers have shown a surprising number of drivers are flouting speed limits on emptier roads, with some racing each other, even on more cramped city streets.
The Times has reported that since the UK was ‘locked down’ the number of vehicles caught breaking the speed limits is now up to twice as many (16%) in larger cities.
Police have said that dangerous drivers such as these could be fast-tracked to the courts where they are usually prosecuted and fined for driving at 10% plus 2mph over the limits.
Research by the RAC has also shown that 44% of UK adults surveyed said they have seen more drivers speeding now than before the lockdown. 23% of the 2,020 people surveyed said they had seen speeding on roads with 30mph speed limits. 5% of those questioned believed they had seen vehicles being raced.
While most speeding seems to have been seen on roads with lower limits, the Metropolitan Police have recorded a driver going at 91mph in a 50mph part of the A12 in London and another motorist flooring it at 118mph on a 70mph section of the A13.
Simon Williams, a road safety spokesman for the RAC, explained: "The frightening conclusion from our research is that a significant number of irresponsible drivers are taking advantage of quiet ‘lockdown’ roads by driving far too fast, putting lives unnecessarily at risk. It would only take a fraction of a second when driving well over the speed limit for something terrible to happen.”
"Couple this behaviour with the fact there are many cyclists on our roads and more people are having to walk in the road to maintain a safe distance from others on pavements and you have a recipe for disaster. The last thing the NHS needs as it works night and day to help patients with coronavirus is to have to deal with people injured in avoidable road traffic collisions caused by motorists driving far too fast.”
While police officers have been given new powers to arrest or fine people breaking lockdown regulations, as well as existing highway laws, it still seems wise to drive carefully because of the actions of a minority of irresponsible drivers.
We sincerely hope that you all stay safe.