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Coronavirus speeding warning: Top cop says dangerous drivers are putting key workers’ lives at risk as Met appeals for help over serious incidents

PUBLISHED: 18:39 09 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:14 10 April 2020

A man in his 20s was taken to hospital by air ambulance. Picture: @Pauldwlon/Twitter

A man in his 20s was taken to hospital by air ambulance. Picture: @Pauldwlon/Twitter

@Pauldwlon/Twitter

The Met Police’s man in charge of crime on our roads has warned drivers not to take advantage of quieter roads to break the speed limit.

This comes after 10 days that has seen a man die in a motorcycle collision in Golders Green and a cyclist in a critical condition in hospital after colliding with a motorbike in the Euston Road.

Supt Andy Cox from Scotland Yard told this newspaper he was “very worried” about the situation on the roads.

He said: “Since the lockdown we have seen a number of examples of extreme speed. Obviously there is less traffic congestion, we think probably around 50 or 60 per cent less vehicles on the road – and people are taking advantage.

“For example today, we had two people on the A12 having racing each other.”

Supt Cox added that the issue was one across all kinds of roads. He said: “I think this is happening consistently across the majority of our roads. In lower speed zones, some places the average is 37mph – the limit is 20.

“Our key workers are walking and cycling to work on those roads and that makes them especially at risk. A serious crash will lead to potentially life-changing injuries and that impacts on the NHS and other emergency services.

“If you do have a serious collision and you need the NHS or to go to hospital, your are potentially depriving Covid-19 patients of hospital beds and you are putting yourself at higher risk too. The consequences are really severe.”

Meanwhile, detectives investigating the collision in Golders Green on April 3 are appealing for the drivers of two vehicles present in the area of the incident to come forward.

The incident occurred on where the A41 slip road meets Woodville Gardens, shortly after 7pm.

A 28-year-old motorbike rider was pronounced dead at the scene.

Det Const Sid Acharya said: “During the course of my enquiries into the circumstances surrounding this collision I discovered two vehicles in the immediate vicinity of the bike when it crashed, a small – medium blue hatchback and a medium – large light coloured coupe. I am appealing directly to the drivers of those vehicles to come forward and speak to me about what they saw.”

Scotland Yard are also appealing for witnesses to the Euston Road crash which left a cyclist, 26, in a “critical condition” in hospital after a crash with a motorbike at 1.17pm on April 7.

Transport for London (TfL) are also part of the campaign to keep speeding drivers off the roads.

Siwan Hayward, TfL’s director of Policing, said: “We are doing all we can to ensure London’s critical workers – particularly those in the NHS – are able to travel safely to and from work.

“Simply put, no one should be travelling on the roads unless they’re making an absolutely essential journey, and that journey should be safe and under the speed limit.”

TfL’s latest statistics show there has been an increase in average speeds in some areas of over 50 per cent, and some drivers caught travelling above 130mph.

Supt Cox said he thought drivers had been emboldened by thinking the police would not be able to monitor the roads, or use unmarked cars, and reiterated this was not the case.

Across London, eight people have died on the roads since March 20.

Joshua Harris from road safety charity Brake said: “There is never an excuse for speeding, it is a selfish act that increases the chance of a crash and endangers lives. With only essential travel permitted, we would hope to see speeding decline and so the reported increase is deeply concerning.”

* Anyone who witnessed the Golders Green incident or has information or dash-cam footage that could assist police is asked to contact Alperton Traffic Garage on 020 8246 9820 or call 101 quoting 6055 of April 3. To remain anonymous visit crimestoppers-uk.org or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

* The police also want anyone with dashcam footage or who witnessed the incident to contact them using 101 or tweet @MetCC with the refence CAD 3287 of April 7.


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