Met Police 'stopped 71% more speeding drivers' when lockdown started

Police officer with a speed gun

There was a 71% spike in the number of speeding drivers pulled over by the UK’s largest police force when the coronavirus lockdown started, new figures show.

Metropolitan Police officers handed out 3,282 tickets to drivers suspected of exceeding the limit during April, according to data obtained through a Freedom of Information request.

That is compared with just 1,922 during April 2019.

20 MPH limit in a residential zone
  • Drivers who receive a ticket, known officially as a Traffic Offence Report, for speeding are sent on an educational course, fined or summoned to appear in court

  • A further 14,736 speeders were caught by London’s roadside cameras in April 2020, the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown.

Detective Superintendent Andy Cox of the Metropolitan Police explained that many drivers caught speeding during the early weeks of lockdown did not expect officers to be patrolling near-deserted roads.

The highest speeds recorded per zone during the lockdown in London are:

  • 163mph on a 70mph road

  • 134mph on a 40mph road

  • 110mph on a 30mph road

  • 73mph on a 20mph road

Trackers based around the capital showed that even average speeds on many roads were above the limit.

Mr Cox explained that the Met identified “a particular issue” with speeding on 20mph and 30mph roads, putting vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists at risk.