Drivers admit to speeding during lockdown, survey says

Drivers let standards slip during lockdown with a rise in bad habits when the roads were clear.

More than half said they had broken the speed limit, a survey found, while more than 20% said that they had been less assiduous in checking mirrors as often as they should.

The survey of 2,003 drivers, carried out by the solicitors Kenway Miller, follows other reports of motorists apparently taking advantage of the open road to drive much faster than usual.

Speeds of 151mph have been clocked on the M1 while one vehicle hit 134mph on a 40mph limit road in London.

Matthew Miller, managing director at Kenway Miller, said: “Police forces up and down the country have been reporting an increase in the number of road users who are speeding and our research does in fact confirm this along with a number of other important driving standards that motorists appear to be letting slip as a result of ‘quieter’ roads.”

The survey also found around 20 per cent of motorists admitted driving a faulty vehicle and a similar proportion said they had used a mobile phone while driving.

There was a 71% increase in the number of suspected speeding drivers pulled over by the Metropolitan Police after lockdown began.

Officers issued 3,282 traffic offence reports in April, the first full month of lockdown, according to figures from a Freedom of Information request, compared with 1,922 in April 2019.

Police in Kent and Derbyshire recorded year-on-year rises in speeding incidents of 53% and 41% respectively.

Most forces noted an overall decrease as traffic fell by about two thirds with people urged to stay at home. Thirteen forces saw a rise in the speed of the fastest driver caught including those in Dyfed Powys, North Yorkshire, and West Mercia.

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