Emptier roads are no excuse for speeding and you cannot outrun COVID-19.
The vast majority of people in Essex are staying home to help save lives and protect the NHS which means the number of vehicles on our roads has dropped significantly.
Essex Police has seen an increase in the number of vehicles speeding – not just on roads with the national speed limit, but also residential roads within our communities.
The number of vehicles breaking the speed limit by at least 15mph has nearly doubled.
Adam Pipe, Head of Roads Policing, said:
“Our roads are less busy at the moment as people across Essex do the right thing and stay home, only making essential journeys.
“And most people who have to use the roads are doing so safely.
“Some of those people my officers have stopped think emptier roads mean they can drive faster.
“We know this is a really difficult and challenging time for everyone, but it’s not an excuse for road users breaking the law.
“In recent weeks we’ve some drivers doing 100, 110, 120, even 130mph on our A-roads and motorways and that’s just not acceptable.
“At a time when we’re all doing our bit to protect the NHS and the emergency services, it’s really selfish to put yourself and others in danger by speeding.
“Officers will continue to be out on our roads protecting and serving Essex, keeping people safe and catching those putting lives at risk.
Sergeant Jason Dearsley, from the Stanway Roads Policing Unit, said there’s no excuse which justifies high speeds:
“We recently stopped a motorist on the M11 doing 145mph.
“The explanation given to my officers was that he was desperate to put some space between himself and his family.
“These are trying times for all of us, but we ask that whatever the weather and however clear the road is you remain responsible.
“You cannot outrun COVID-19.”
Nicola Foster, Chair of The Safer Essex Roads Partnership, said:
“Thank you to most people who have to use the roads for doing so safely.
“We know that these times are extremely difficult but our individual responsibility to look out for each other on the roads has never been more important.
“Although you may not be driving as often or as far, there are many more cyclists and pedestrians on the roads at the moment. Now is the time to concentrate, more than ever before, on your driving and the road ahead. Please, watch your speed, don’t let yourself be distracted by a mobile phone or by passengers or be tempted to use the road if you’ve been drinking or using drugs.
“Our Extra Eyes initiative is still very much functional and we encourage anyone who captures footage of poor or dangerous driving, to send it to us.
“We urge you to listen to the Government’s advice; Stay home, only make essential journeys and save lives.”