Monday, 18 May 2020, saw the launch of the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) speed enforcement operation.
With the gradual relaxing of lockdown restrictions police forces throughout the UK will be taking part in a two phase operation to remind motorists of the importance of travelling within the speed limit. This operation is deliberately timed as travel restrictions start to ease, to keep people safe as the volume of traffic increases.
In phase one from 18th May, forces will be sharing messages across social media and other platforms encouraging the public to slow down and save lives, in addition to normal speed enforcement activity.
Phase two from the 25 May will see forces step up visible speed enforcement activity for the following two weeks, focussing on roads and areas where speeding is known to be an issue or there is a history of serious collisions.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, Roads Policing Lead for NPCC, said:
"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.
"Unsurprisingly, the lockdown saw very quiet roads. Many forces reported increased speeding in a general sense and some forces reported instances of very excessive speeding. It is also of particular note that we have seen an increase in pedal cyclists at this time, many of whom may be unfamiliar with busier roads. Pedestrians and runners have also got used to empty roads.
"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."
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 that 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 44 feet or about 3 car lengths each second. Even in good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 30 mph and 35 mph is an extra 21 feet or 6.4 metres, more than 2 car lengths, this could make all the difference in avoiding a collision. The distance required to stop safely, significantly increased at higher speeds.
Chief Constable Bangham went on to say, "Speeding kills, and driving within the speed limits makes our roads safer. Please slow down and save lives."
**End of message**
(Circulated CMS all communities West Mercia).