A new Department for Transport (DfT) statistical release has highlighted an increase in speeding on UK roads during the first COVID-19 national lockdown.

The proportion of cars exceeding the speed limit during the UK coronavirus lockdown was higher than for the equivalent period of 2019.

These differences emerged as road traffic levels reduced sharply in late March after the lockdown was introduced. As restrictions eased later in quarter two 2020 (April to June), traffic volumes began to return to normal levels, and speed limit exceedance started to return to levels more similar to 2019.

In quarter two of 2020, 53 percent of cars in free-flowing conditions exceeded the speed limit on motorways, compared with 52 percent in quarter two 2019. The difference was greater on National Speed Limit (NSL) single carriageways with a car speed of limit of 60mph. On these roads, 17 percent of cars exceeded the limit in quarter two 2020, compared with 10 percent in the same quarter of 2019. On 30mph roads, the figures were 63 percent (2020) and 56 percent (2019).

See the full report (PDF)