Police said speeding offences in some areas had “doubled” since the lockdown measures were put into place as other road crimes also dramatically rose. Drug driving arrests and vehicles on the road with no insurance reached record levels which would have left officers stretched.
The spokesperson said: “Last month, the decision was made that in a number of low-level traffic offences we would take no further action.
“These did not include any offences where we had a victim or where the offences are deemed to be at a high level of danger to the public or themselves.
“We are now enforcing all road traffic offences, including all speeding thresholds, and offenders will be prosecuted in line with national guidelines.”
Officers will continue to be out on our roads protecting and serving Essex, keeping people safe and catching those putting lives at risk.”
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Drivers have been accused of taking advantage of the lockdown restrictions with many flouting the rules and breaking common road laws.
Police forces across the country have accused motorists of using public roads like a “racetrack” since measures were introduced.
Metropolitan Police officers have caught drivers travelling as fast as 134mph around the capital as roads fell silent.
The M1 has proved a flashpoint for speeding offenders with motorists being caught driving as fast as 151mph and 163mph since the middle of April.
Essex Police says empty roads were “no excuse” for speeding but confirmed this was not the only offence which was causing officers difficulty.
The breakdown in policing in some areas have led to record increases in drug driving offences and those driving with no insurance.
This could be because drivers have decided to cancel policies to save money during lockdown but have decided to use their vehicle anyway.
An Essex Police spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We’ve seen an increase in the number of vehicles speeding – not just on roads with the national speed limit, but also residential roads within our communities.
“The number of vehicles breaking the speed limit by at least 15mph has nearly doubled.
“In April we recorded 266 drug driving arrests and 394 vehicles were sized due to no insurance, these are the highest figures we ever had for one month.”
Motorists who are caught speeding will be issued a £100 fine and up to three penalty points on their driving licence.
Under usual circumstances motorists caught speeding could be offered a speed awareness course as an alternative to taking penalty points.
However, these have been temporarily suspended due to social distancing fears which have left experts to warn drivers may be forced to take the points.
Driving a car without valid insurance is also against the law and can result in severe fines for motorists.
Offenders are likely to be issued a £300 fine and up to six penalty points but this could rise to an unlimited fine ro a driving ban if the case goes to court.
Published at Thu, 07 May 2020 06:39:00 +0000