‘Extreme’ speeders who drive at excessive speeds in the capital during the lockdown are being warned that they face strong enforcement action by the Metropolitan Police and swift processing through the courts.
Since 23 March 2020 there have been eight recorded road deaths in London. A total of 89 ‘extreme’ speeders have been summoned to court, via a new fast-time process.
In addition, a new central Road Crime Team has been established to focus on targeting the capital’s riskiest drivers, using intelligence-led proactivity. The team will focus its efforts on these individuals in particular, recognising that there is often a link between people who are dangerous drivers and those who are committing other forms of criminality.
Although traffic volumes have fallen dramatically since the lockdown, officers have seen a significant increase in vehicle speeding offences, with 151mph being the highest speed recorded and enforced in the capital in recent weeks. Other individuals have been stopped having been recorded doing 145mph, 142mph and 140mph, respectively. In addition, individuals have been stopped doing 134mph in a 40mph zone and 73mph in a 20mph zone.
Average speeds across all roads have increased in recent weeks, with 30% of roads checked seeing an average speed of at least 10% above the speed limit, and some roads seeing an average speed more than 50% above the speed limit.
Commander Kyle Gordon of the Metropolitan Police, said: “Traffic volume in London has fallen by around 60% in recent weeks and the vast majority of Londoners have heeded government advice to stay at home. Unfortunately, some individuals have sought to exploit the quieter roads and used this opportunity to drive at excessive speed.
“Driving at this speed we have detected is dangerous and socially irresponsible at this time.
“Our officers are out across London 24/7 and will be using all of the means available to us to ensure road users drive responsibly throughout this period to keep everyone safe.
“High-risk driving results in serious injuries and fatalities, which cause devastation for everyone involved. So far during the lockdown period we have seen eight fatal road traffic accidents and several more resulting in serious injuries, leaving families utterly devastated.
“At this unprecedented time, dealing with road traffic accidents puts a lot of additional and unnecessary strain on the NHS and other emergency services, who are working on the frontline 24 hours a day to keep us all safe.”
The Metropolitan Police Service and TfL lead on Vision Zero, the capital’s campaign to eradicate deaths and serious injuries from London’s roads by 2041. The Met’s Road and Transport Policing Command focus on the ‘Fatal 4’: the four greatest dangers whilst driving: inappropriate speed, using a mobile phone whilst driving, note wearing a seatbelt and driving whilst under the influence of drink/drugs.