Speeding Soars in Lockdown

By Peter Dodd


Data shows that speed limit penalties were at their peak during the enforcement of the UK’s first lockdown in 2020. Of particular concern were levels of non-compliance on 20 and 30mph roads, many of which were in residential areas and in close proximity to schools. Furthermore, there has been a large spike in speeding on roads overnight when travel is far quieter as well as on 60mph routes.

Penalties were dished out and peaked over the first lockdown. When the traffic returned to near normal levels, the figures returned to pre lockdown levels where most of the speeding continued to occur on motorways.

The statistics are interesting. It is perhaps, not a surprise that there was an element of the so called ‘boy racers’ effect out there taking advantage of using the roads as a race track. There were also drivers who assessed the overall risk (with less traffic and fewer pedestrians) as being low.

When lockdown ended would be speeders may have been unable to speed due to congestion (and other drivers sticking to the speed limits). Or the speeders may have thought there were more police officers about (as the police had reacted to criticism when the press highlighted some of the eye watering speed limits that were being reached by drivers when there appeared to be very little police presence).

What are we to learn by this? Lockdowns do not mean that speed limits and the law should be broken. Speed limits are there for a reason. To protect vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and animals) and also drivers and passengers.

The law states that you are liable for a speeding fine as soon as you exceed the limit and it is an urban myth that speed cameras give you a 10% leeway, so the best advice is to not speed full stop. The minimum penalty for speeding (a fixed penalty) is a £100 fine and 3 penalty points added to your licence. Depending on your speed and other conditions you may be offered a speed awareness course.  If you gain 12 or more penalty points within three years, you could be disqualified from driving for at least 6 months.

In short, dangerous driving and speeding kills. As the world (hopefully) is starting to move again driving licences are more important than ever. So have a look at the speed limits and then check this against your speedometer and then check your speedometer again.

For information and to find out how we can help you, please contact 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be in touch.