Police launch speeding crackdown as drivers return to work

Police forces around the UK are staging a high-profile crackdown on speeding as traffic levels continue to rise following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Following the relaxation of travel limits in England, and the announcement that non-essential workers will be able to return to work from May 28 in Scotland, police chiefs have announced an increase in enforcement activity.

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Forces will be stepping up visible enforcement activity around known speeding and accident black spots to “remind motorists of the importance of travelling within the speed limit”.

Under the slogan “slow down, save lives”, the UK-wide crackdown will run for two weeks from May 25.

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Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, roads policing lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “With the gradual move out of lockdown and with traffic volumes starting to increase, this national operation is an important way of highlighting the dangers of speeding, particularly when so many people have not been out on the roads for quite some time.

“Unsurprisingly, the lockdown saw very quiet roads. Many forces reported increased speeding in a general sense and some forces reported instances of very excessive speeding. It is also of particular note that we have seen an increase in pedal cyclists at this time, many of whom may be unfamiliar with busier roads. Pedestrians and runners have also got used to empty roads.

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“Put this together with better weather, lighter evenings, motorcyclists itching to ride out across our country roads and you have the concerning combination of factors for a significant increase in people being killed or seriously injured. I am determined for this not to be the case.”

During lockdown, traffic volumes fell by as much as 80 per cent but several police forces reported increases in the number of speeding offences and the severity of the offences. Among the worst offenders were one spotted travelling at 150mph on the M1 and another who reached 134mph in a 40mph zone.

Chief Constable Bangham added: “Speeding kills, and driving within the speed limits makes our roads safer. Please slow down and save lives.”

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