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Source: United Kingdom London Metropolitan Police

As speeding continues to be one of the biggest causes of deaths or serious injuries on London’s roads, the Met will this week step up enforcement action as part of National Road Safety Week (RSW)*. 

As coronavirus restrictions have tightened, officers have seen an increase in vehicles using the less busy roads of London to speed. Officers from the Roads and Transport Policing Command have been working hard to crack down on the offenders. 

Since restrictions were imposed on Monday, 23 March, there has been a 203 per cent rise in the number of Traffic Offence Reports (TORS) given compared with the same period in 2019.

In one example, a vehicle was caught by officers at 163mph in a 70mph zone on the M1. The driver has since been given a six-month driving ban and received £1,886 in fines and costs. 

In the last week alone (09-15 November), officers issued a total of 605 TORs. This compares with a total of 89 TORs for the whole of the Met in the same period in 2019. Fourteen vehicles were caught driving at more than 100mph in London, with a notable example of a vehicle driving 108mph in a 50mph zone. 

In July 2018, the Mayor, TfL and the Met launched a bold Vision Zero Action Plan to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on London’s streets by 2041. Each year, around 4,000 people are killed or seriously injured on London’s roads, taking a devastating toll on the people involved, their families and communities across the capital. Enforcing lower speeds is vital for achieving this commitment.

Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens, from the Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “Speeding is one of the biggest contributors to serious and fatal collisions in London and officers will be working hard to ensure those who speed in the capital will be stopped.

“You can see from the figure above that there has been a real increase in those who think it is acceptable to use excess speed while the roads are less busy and the vast numbers of TORs officers have given out as a result.

“RSW gives an opportunity to open up the conversations around speeding and the impact it can have on individuals, families and communities. The Met and our partners continue to work on our Vision Zero aim of having no road deaths by 2041. As part of this, speeding is such an important area to crack down on. 

“Last year, of the 125 fatal collisions on London’s roads, in half of these cases, speed was a contributing factor to the collision. That is 125 times an officer had to deliver news that a loved one would not be coming home. 

“Many people have been taking advantage of the quieter roads to get around more quickly, but I am here to tell you that officers are out actively targeting, not just this week, but day in and day out, those who speed. This can result in the loss of their license and huge charges. This RSW, it is simply not worth the risk to yourself or others to speed in the capital.”

Siwan Hayward, Director of Compliance, Policing Operations and Security at TfL, said: “Road Safety Week is an important time to take stock and remember why we’re doing our utmost to eliminate deaths and injuries on London’s roads. Last year, our data shows that 125 people were killed on London’s streets, and 3,780 were seriously injured. Behind each of these tragedies are families, friends and communities who have been left heartbroken. We’re not prepared to accept that any deaths or serious injuries on London’s roads are something we should put up with.

“We know that a person is five times more likely to die if they’re hit at 30mph than at 20mph, which is why lower speeds are essential. 

“We’d like to thank the majority of drivers who are protecting their local communities by driving safely and within the speed limit. Enforcing safe speeds remains a priority for ourselves and the police, and action will be taken against drivers found to be putting Londoners at risk.”

*Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event, coordinated annually by Brake, the road safety charity.

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