Police record eight-fold rise in speeding drivers during lockdown

The number of speeding drivers caught by traffic police has risen by nearly eight-fold compared with last year, the Met revealed today.

Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, the head of Scotland Yard’s traffic teams, said 2,020 speeders had been recorded between April 20-27, far higher than the 268 in the same seven-day period in 2019.

Hitting out at a “disgraceful” minority recklessly risking lives, he said motorists had been caught flouting speed limits across the capital.

The worst examples included one doing 109mph in a 40mph zone and another recorded at 121mph in a 50mph one, he revealed. Another motorist had been caught driving a Porsche between junctions two and three of the M1 at 163mph with another 64 drivers caught across the capital last week doing more than 100mph.

He added that average speeds in Bishopsgate in the City, where a 20mph limit is in place, had been recorded at 39mph in a further example of drivers flouting the law.  A speed of 85mph was recorded on a 30mph street in the past week and 112mph on a 60mph road.

“We’ve seen incredible speeds, incredible risk,” Mr Cox told the Standard. “Some of the people we’ve stopped have said things like ‘because of Covid-19 we didn’t expect you to be doing enforcement’, but it’s an absolute priority for us — probably more so than ever because of the increase in speed.

“Every one of those extreme speeders is entirely selfish: they’re not considering other road users, the wider impacts. They are frankly disgraceful. We’ve had since the lockdown, nine fatalities, so many people seriously injured.”

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Mr Cox said that although the overall number of motorists on London’s roads had fallen since the coronavirus lockdown began, the number of people suffering life-changing injuries in traffic accidents had remained roughly static.

He added: “Speeding is the reason people are dying on the roads, but a large section of the community are complacent. They don’t think the police will stop them. We clearly are doing.”

He said motorists should also remember that NHS workers and others whose jobs were vital in the fight against Covid-19 were “walking and cycling in a lot of these zones” en route to their jobs. That meant that speeding  drivers were “presenting a risk to our key workers” . Mr Cox warned that police enforcement of the speed limits would continue at an intensive level as a result.



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