Revealed: the Coronavirus lockdown speeders

Apr 24, 2020

30mph speed sign

Nearly half of people have witnessed an increase in drivers breaking the speed limit during the government lockdown, claims new research.

According to the study by the RAC, 44% of UK adults say they have seen more drivers speeding now than they did before the Government introduced the COVID-19 lockdown.

Roads with 30mph limits appear to be the most abused, with 23% of the 2,020 people questioned saying they had seen drivers very obviously breaking the law by going too fast, while 15% said they had seen drivers breaking both 20mph and 40mph limits. For 50mph limits only 10% felt there was an increase in speeders.

In 60mph and 70mph limits the uplift in speeders is far less pronounced, with 6% and 5% respectively reporting they had seen these limits being broken – but this still represents an increase in observed speeding on these roads compared to before the lockdown.

Evidence from police forces across the country sadly backs up what people surveyed told the RAC, with the Met Police clocking one driver doing 134mph in a 40mph zone and Greater Manchester Police recording a driver going 129mph on the M62.

“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,” said RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams.

“Since the Government told the nation to stay at home many roads have become almost deserted so it’s a concern this is being seen by some as an opportunity to illegally ignore speed limits.

“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.”

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