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Speeding incidents triple during lockdown

Speeding incidents rose threefold in April as drivers took advantage of unusually low traffic levels and a sense that they would “get away with it”.

Both ‘serious’ and ‘major’ speeding incidents tripled during lockdown

Analysis by AX of telematics data covering tens of thousands of car journeys during lockdown found “serious” speeding events occurred every 136 miles on average in April, compared to every 443 miles in February.

‘Major’ speeding incidents also tripled, taking place on average once every 32 miles in April, compared to every 94 miles in February.

The increase wasn’t solely consigned to motorists covering shorter journeys either, with major speeding events occurring on average once every 4.3 trips in April compared to every 9.8 trips two months earlier.

And while van drivers are normally more guilty of major speeding events than drivers, the reverse was true during lockdown, with telematics devices detecting major incidents twice as often as normal compared to four times as frequently for car drivers.

The data from AX also indicates that speeding started to return to normal levels as lockdown conditions eased, with all types of speeding incident occurring almost half as frequently in June compared to April. This is still far from pre-lockdown levels and warnings continue over the risks to drivers and fleets.

Neil Thomas, director of investigative services at AX, said: “It’s fascinating to see how driver behaviour has been influenced by the impacts of COVID-19.

“Whether it was simply down to reduced traffic levels during lockdown or perhaps drivers assuming police forces had bigger priorities, the data shows that given the opportunity, many drivers are clearly willing to speed and quite often significantly so.

“It goes without saying that excessive speed is detrimental to everyone’s safety, but it poses an additional problem for fleet managers who have a responsibility for the safety of their drivers and vehicles.

“Alerting drivers to the fitment of a telematics system is one of the most effective ways of drastically clamping down on speeding and such systems could be needed now more than ever with the possibility of a second lockdown still on the horizon.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006.