Rossendale Free Press
Thousands of drivers snared in speed trap
THOUSANDS of people in Lancashire have been found guilty of speeding during the pandemic - as two in three drivers broke the limit in the first lockdown.
Exclusive figures from the DVLA have revealed that 9,611 fines were handed out by courts in the area between April and October this year - along with points on the offenders’ licences.
The figures are based on a Freedom of Information request and are the first to give an indication of speeding during the pandemic at a local level.
The 9,611 speeders found guilty in Lancashire courts between April and October is a big drop from 16,804 during the same period of 2019, reflecting the decrease seen in the number of cars on the road.
However, national figures show while fewer people were travelling by car during the first UK-wide lockdown, the proportion speeding rose significantly.
Data from the Department for Transport showed that 63 per cent of the seven million cars surveyed driving on 30mph speed limit roads broke that limit between April and June.
That was up from 56pc of the 12 million drivers breaking the speed limit during the same period in 2019.
During the first three months of the pandemic, 17pc of the three million drivers on 60mph single carriageways were found to be speeding, compared to 10pc in 2019.
Meanwhile, 53pc of the 19 million cars driving on motorways during the first lockdown broke the speed limit, which was similar to the 52pc seen in the same period last year.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “This data confirms what we previously suspected: lower traffic volumes sadly led to some shocking levels of speed limit disobedience, particularly on 30mph limit roads.
“This dangerous behaviour unnecessarily put lives at risk during the first national lockdown when more people were walking and cycling.
“Empty roads should not be an excuse to drive dangerously.”