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Police blast dangerous drivers who are using London's empty roads for races during lockdown
9 April 2020, 11:44
A police chief has slammed drivers using London's empty streets to race each other, warning the wasted resources on dealing with them could take away lifesaving facilities for coronavirus patients.
DSI Andy Cox, the Head of the Road and Transport Policing Command at the Metropolitan Police, said some motorists have been caught breaking the speed limit on the empty roads.
Much of the capital's streets currently lie empty as the majority of the population abide by rules to stay at home and not make any "non-essential" journeys.
Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari, he said: "Well we're seeing speeds of up to 142mph on roads in London.
"We've even stopped someone doing 140mph in a 40 zone. Even today while you've been on air this morning we've stopped two racing on the A12 at 80 mph in a 50mph zone.
"But it's not just those extreme speeds, we've also seen in one of our 20mph zones, the speeds are averaging around 37mph.
"You can imagine what the upper limit of those averages are.
"Most of our key workers are cycling to work, they're pedestrians and we know with speed and with extreme speed comes increased risk of serious crashes.
"And the knock-on impact is emergency services the NHS are going to be dealing with those crashes.
"If you end up in hospital then you're going to deprive Covid-19 patients of NHS care as well."
When asked why they were doing this, DSI Cox said some were taking advantage of a "golden opportunity" with the decrease in traffic and some have said they "didn't expect" to see police out on the roads.
He added: "I can assure them and yourselves that we are there 24/7."
Officers are paying special attention to any drivers who are committing one of the "fatal four offences", which put themselves and others at serious risk.
These are; speeding, drink or drug driving, using a mobile phone while driving and not wearing a seatbelt.
Yesterday, LBC News reported how a man has been fined after being caught driving 127 miles for bread.
The reason for this, he claimed, was because it was £1 cheaper.