Police forces have been praised for cracking down on reckless and inconsiderate drivers during the lockdown and urged to continue their focus.
According to the Met Police, there was a spate of “extreme speeding” over the Easter bank holiday, including one driver clocked at 151mph on the M1 and a driver caught doing 97mph in a 40mph section of the A10.
The cases reinforce anecdotal reports of drivers using the lockdown to ignore standard road rules, including ignoring traffic lights.
While the vast majority of drivers are staying at home and only making essential journeys until the Government’s self-distancing instructions are lifted, road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has said it’s clear that police resources need to keep up the focus on speeding.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart’s policy and research director, said: “Social media is full of videos and reports from the front line showing high-speed pursuits, arrests, collisions and driver behaviour that seems frankly unbelievable in this time of national crisis.
“IAM RoadSmart believes it is critical that high-profile roads policing is maintained during the lock down to ensure that a selfish minority do not taint the vast majority of law-abiding drivers who are behaving responsibly.”
He also warned how such behaviour is a risk to the lives of all those using the roads responsibly and a potentially huge a drain on the emergency services and health care professionals who need to focus on tackling the pandemic.
Greig continued: “Dealing with avoidable crashes is a huge and unnecessary burden on the emergency services at the moment and while we expect overall crash numbers to fall, this makes the targeting of excessive speeding related activity even more important than ever.
“The minority who continue to drive at excessive speed are simply not listening to the warnings or taking heed of the frequent police messaging. The only way to stop them is to keep current speeding campaigns going and increase the perception that they will be caught and dealt with.
“This requires a combination of targeted enforcement, use of intelligence and continued operation of safety cameras. IAM RoadSmart urges chief constables to do all they can to maintain resourcing for traffic units in these difficult times.”