Speeding fell at start of lockdown - but there could be rebound in dangerous driving

The number of drivers caught speeding in West Yorkshire fell when the coronavirus lockdown started, new figures show.

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 9:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 9:20 am

Road safety charity Brake wants to avoid a rebound in dangerous driving now that more drivers are back out on the roads.

West Yorkshire Police officers enforced 11,961 speeding offences during April, according to data obtained by the PA news agency through a Freedom of Information request.

This was a decrease of 19 per cent on the same month the year before.

Speeding fell in West Yorkshire when lockdown began, figures reveal

The majority of forces who provided data also observed a decrease, with offences dropping by 55 per cent across England and Wales.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “Any drop in speeding on the road is positive news but this must be tempered by the fact that lockdown dramatically reduced the number of vehicles on the road.

"As traffic increases, post-lockdown, we need to see measures introduced to avoid a rebound in dangerous driving and to minimise crashes.

“We need tough enforcement and safer, lower speed limits to help keep our roads as safe as possible and to try and sustain the positive increase in walking and cycling over the past few months.”

The speed of the fastest driver caught in West Yorkshire rose, from 139mph in April 2019 to 151mph in April this year.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said many drivers exceed the speed limit without realising it.

It urged people to look for signs, check their speedometer regularly and remember that speed limits are a maximum, not a target.

Nick Lloyd, head of road safety at Rospa, said: “Higher speeds mean drivers have less time to identify and react to what is happening around them, prolonging the time it takes for the vehicle to stop, and raising the risk of a crash occurring.

“This puts the driver and other people at risk. Added to that, the higher the speed, the greater the risk of death or injury in a collision.”