Ahead of the bank holiday weekend, drivers across the country are being warned to stick to speed limits when making essential journeys.
Speeding has been one of the key road safety talking points during the coronavirus pandemic – with figures showing while traffic volumes have fallen, average speeds have risen.
While the dangers of speeding are well known to the road safety community, there are particular concerns relating to the rise in the number of people cycling and walking during lockdown.
This message is particularly prevalent with a warm bank holiday weekend on the horizon – and the Road Safety Trust urging drivers to remain ‘extra vigilant’ when making essential journeys.
Sally Lines, CEO of Road Safety Trust said: “With the long weekend and promising weather forecast, it is likely that there will be more cyclists and pedestrians undertaking their daily exercise whilst observing social distancing on UK roads.
“Drivers need to remain extra vigilant as this could mean that pedestrians and cyclists become unpredictable in their behaviour.
“When the roads are quieter there can be a temptation to drive faster than the speed limit. Knowing that speed is a contributing factor to road traffic collisions, we must respect the speeding laws and rules of the road.”
Enforcement of speed offences ‘soars’ in London
Meanwhile, the Met Police continues to urge drivers to slow down, after revealing a 142% year-on-year increase in the number of speed offences detected during the lockdown period.
Since lockdown began, 1,656 speeding offences have been detected by officers – compared with 684 for the same period in 2019.
Among those offences detected include a driver caught traveling at 73mph on a 20mph road – while the highest speed recorded was 163mph (on a 70mph road).
Det supt Andy Cox said: “The majority of Londoners have followed Government advice and have stayed at home.
“However, a small number of individuals have gone against the advice and have used this opportunity to abuse the less congested roads and drive at excess speed and in many cases extreme speeds.
“In doing so, their actions increase the risk to their own safety and that of other road users and in the event of a collision can lead to devastating consequences for themselves, and bereaved family and friends.
“Going into the Bank Holiday weekend, we urge drivers to only make the most essential journeys and to do so sensibly, safely and lawfully.
“The objective of any journey is to get from one location to another safely, and there is absolutely no reason to travel at speeds above the limit, posing risks to yourself and other road users.
“To keep people safe and make a real change to driving standards and behaviour we all need to treat speeding as socially unacceptable in the same manner society rightly treats drink driving.
“To this end I urge everybody to challenge drivers who speed and ask them not to do so; whether that be a family member; friend; work colleague or yourself.”