Police in the U.K. have launched an intensive new anti-speeding campaign for May-June 2020, aimed at motorists who are realizing the still-empty roads make it easier to go fast.
The bobbies’ expectation of increased speeding isn’t irrational. All around the world, in areas with COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantines, the roads have lost much of their usual gridlock. Speed junkies have responded with increased street racing and other moto-hoonery. The result? We’ve seen cross-continental cannonball records repeatedly broken, newspaper headlines about the new Fast & Furious wannabes and a noticeable uptick in dangerous traffic accidents in some areas. Maybe George Miller was right—apocalyptic times seem to bring in a need, a need for speed.
But instead of springing for supercharged V8 pursuit cars, the British police launched their anti-speeding efforts on May 18 with a social media campaign, as that’s how things are done these days (one shudders to think of the next world war being launched via an Instagram campaign, but it’s looking more and more likely these days).
Then, starting May 25, the police are focusing more on enforcement, rather than prevention, for a couple of weeks. The campaign is being organized by the National Police Chiefs Council, and its website mentions special mention of motorcyclists.
“Unsurprisingly, the lockdown saw very quiet roads. Many forces reported increased speeding in a general sense and some forces reported instances of very excessive speeding … Put this together with better weather, lighter evenings, motorcyclists itching to ride out across our country roads and you have the concerning combination of factors for a significant increase in people being killed or seriously injured.
Whether it’s telling other motorists to watch out for riders, or telling riders to watch out for other motorists, you’ve been warned. If you want to go out for a rip on British back roads in the next few days, watch your back.