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Police urge drivers to slowdown as extreme speeding soars

Coronavirus: Met Police says there has been a 142% increase

Mark Moran
08 May 2020
A driver was recorded doing 163mph on the M1 in London (Met Police)
A driver was recorded doing 163mph on the M1 in London (Met Police)


The Metropolitan Police’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) is urging drivers to slow down, as extreme speeding enforcement in London since the lockdown has surged by 142%, compared with the same period last year. This equates to 1,656 extreme speeding offences compared with 684 for the same period in 2019.

Speeds have increased in all categories from 20 to 70mph. Officers from the RTPC have issued more than 4,000 enforcement notices since lockdown compared with the same period last year of over just over 2,300 - this equates to a 71% increase in speeding enforcement compared with the same period in 2019 despite 40% less traffic on the road.

Speeds have increased in all categories from 20 to 70mph, inclusive. The highest speeds per limit category are as follows:

  • 163mph: 70
  • 119mph: 60
  • 121mph: 50
  • 134mph: 40
  • 110mph: 30
  • 73mph: 20

Since the lockdown restrictions began, there have been ten fatal collisions and speeding is considered to be the factor most present in serious crashes.

Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, of the Metropolitan Police, 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.”


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