With the volume of traffic at the lowest it has been for years, Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance is urging motorists to slow down when driving on our county roads.
While the majority of people are following the government advice to stay at home and only make essential journeys, others have been using the roads irresponsibly and driving at excessive speeds.
Since the restrictions on travel were put in place on March 23, more than 1100 speeding offences have been detected across the county including 138mph on the motorway, 104mph in a national speed limit and 63mph in a 30mph zone.
Speeding, along with drink/drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone at the wheel, makes up the fatal four offences, which are often recorded as a contributory factors in road collisions.
The Safer Roads Alliance brings key partners together to work on initiatives which aim to improve road safety across the county through education, engagement and enforcement.
It is a countywide partnership between the Force, Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service, Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Northamptonshire Highways, which represents the County Council.
Chair of NSRA, Chief Superintendent Mick Stamper, said: “Our main priority is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads by clamping down on the fatal four offences.
“At a time when we are being asked to stay at home to protect our NHS, collisions caused by those driving or riding dangerously and recklessly at excessive speeds will put an extra strain on all the emergency services.
“Those involved in a collision will require the use of the NHS, the police, fire and ambulance services – all of whom are exceptionally busy responding to the Covid-19 pandemic – depriving precious medical care to those who really need it.
“We all need to work together at this time to help save lives, and one way to do this is to stop all non-essential travel. However, if you do need to use the roads, stick to the speed limits.
“Sadly during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have recorded more than 1100 speeding offences in just one month. This included one driver caught doing 138mph on the motorway, which not only put their lives at risk, but those of others.”
Speeding is an issue which concerns many communities, and despite the current travel restrictions, Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Roads Team will continue to carry out proactive patrols.
PC Dave Lee of the Safer Roads Team, said: “Reducing the number of people who are killed or seriously injured in Northamptonshire is one of our Force priorities, and this has not changed.
“Despite the travel restrictions, we will continue our enforcement activities across the county to provide an increased deterrent for motorists who continue to ignore the rules of the roads, putting their lives and others at risk.
“I have seen first-hand the devastating effect speeding can have not only on those involved in a collision but also family, friends and the wider community, so please stick to the speed limits.”
More information about general road safety can be found on the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue website at www.northantsfire.gov.uk/road-safety/