Online Editions

16th May, 2022

Some drivers are 'using empty roads like racetracks' during coronavirus lockdown

DRIVERS have been urged to slow down and heed the instructions to only make necessary journeys after reports of some roads being used ‘like a racetrack’.

One motorist, who was sat at the junction of the B4090 and Queen Street in Droitwich while she was delivering food and medicines to the elderly and vulnerable, said she was shocked to see how some people were driving.

“There was a BMW, a SEAT and a Ford and it was obvious they were racing each other – they nearly took the front of my van off.

“It has got to stop – if the police catch them they need to seize the cars and crush them.”

The woman, who lives in Bromsgrove, said she had witnessed similar disregard for the road on the main Birmingham Road there.

“Every night, and even in the daytime, I can see this going on from my window.

“They should not be doing it – especially at a time when the NHS is under so much pressure.

“If they end up in a smash, they will be using valuable resources, such as ambulances and hospital beds, as well as taking up police and fire service time.

“The issue has definitely got worse since the lockdown. Drivers are clearly taking advantage of empty roads and increasing their speeds.”

PC Rich Rees from Droitwich SNT said he had not received any reports of speeding motorists in the town during the lockdown but he urged residents to report it on 101 if they encountered any.

PC Barney Kelso from Bromsgrove North and Rural Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), said officers were aware of the issue and one of the vehicles involved had already been identified.

That driver was visited and the issue had also been passed onto the force’s Road Policing Team.

Official figures show so far during the lockdown period – from March 24 to April 20 there have been eight serious crashes across the West Mercia Police force area and 35 minor injury collisions, but no fatal incidents.

During the same time last year – when there would have been many more cars on the road – there were five fatal crashes, 35 serious collisions and 143 resulting in minor injuries.

T/Ch Supt Paul Moxley said: “Our commitment to roads policing and keeping the road network safe across the three counties of West Mercia remains an integral part of our approach during this lockdown.

“In recent weeks most people have either stayed at home or driven sensibly when making essential journeys and this is reflected in recent road traffic collision figures, which show that injuries for the lockdown period are considerably lower than the same period last year.

“Most importantly there haven’t been any fatal road traffic collisions on the roads of West Mercia during lockdown.”

He added, despite the sensible approach by the majority, a minority of motorists were ‘taking advantage of quieter roads and travelling at excessive speeds’.

“We are targeting these individuals and will take appropriate action to identify and deal with those motorists who are putting themselves and others at risk.

“Exceeding the speed limit can have fatal consequences for the driver, passengers and others on the road.

“Our NHS colleagues are already under extreme pressure and therefore it is even more important than ever to collectively work towards reducing the necessity to call upon the NHS – driving safely and within the speed limit is critical to that aim.

“We can all play our part over the coming months by taking extra care on every journey and avoiding unnecessary risks.”


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