28th Sep, 2020

Police launch operation to get motorists to slow down as the lockdown eases

AN OPERATION has been launched by West Mercia Police and other forces around the UK to remind motorists to stick to the speed limit.

Phase one of the scheme which started yesterday sees officers sharing messages across social media and other platforms, encouraging the public to slow down and save lives.

This is being done in addition to normal speed checks.

Phase two will start on May 25 where forces will step up the operation for two weeks, focusing on roads and areas where speeding is a known issue or issue or there is a history of serious collisions.

Many forces, including West Mercia and West Midlands, have reported general increases in speeding due to the quieter roads during the Coronavirus lockdown.

There has also been an increase in cyclists, pedestrians and runners who have all got used to empty roads which poses further dangers.

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, Roads Policing Lead for NPCC, said: “Put this together with better weather, lighter evenings, motorcyclists itching to ride out across our country roads and you have the concerning combination of factors for a significant increase in people being killed or seriously injured.

“I am determined for this not to be the case.

“With the gradual move out of lockdown and with traffic volumes starting to increase, this national operation is an important way of highlighting the dangers of speeding, particularly when so many people have not been out on the roads for quite some time.”

Police want to remind motorists of the devastating impact speeding can have, not only increasing the risk of a collision but the severity of the impact at higher speeds.

Figures show on average 17 people are killed and 126 are seriously injured every month in the UK, where speeding is believed to have been a significant factor.

At 30mph, vehicles are travelling at 44ft or three car loads every second.

Even in good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 30mph and 35mph is an extra 21ft or 6.4metres – more than two car lengths.

This this could make all the difference in avoiding a collision.

The distance required to stop safely, significantly increased at higher speeds.

Chief Constable Bangham added: “Speeding kills, and driving within the speed limits makes our roads safer.

“Please slow down and save lives.”

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