HAMPSHIRE police are today launching a blitz on speeders as part of a national campaign timed to coincide with the end of Covid restrictions.

Officers will be enforcing speed limits across the county in a bid to deter drivers from flouting restrictions aimed at preventing deaths and serious injuries.

Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police are carrying out a joint operation as part of a three-week campaign devised by the National Police Chiefs Council.

A police spokesperson said: "Officers will be carrying out enforcement across the force area, targeting a small but significant minority of drivers who make the choice to speed, increasing the risks to themselves and other road users.

"In 2019 there were 1,561 collisions where people were either killed or seriously injured across Hampshire and Thames Valley.

"Of those 191 - around 12% - were recorded as having either excessive speed or travelling too fast for the conditions as contributory factors."

Today has been dubbed "Freedom Day" because most of the remaining Covid restrictions are set to be lifted.

The return to normality, coupled with the approach of the summer holiday season, is expected to produce a sharp rise in traffic over the next few weeks.

PC Dave Hazlett, a road safety officer for Hampshire and Thames Valley police, said: "As traffic gradually increases to pre-pandemic levels, the risk of collisions will naturally increase.

“We are urging drivers and riders to simply slow down; not only to drive within the speed limit but also drive to the road conditions.

“There are times when driving to a speed limit may be too fast particularly on motorways, dual carriageways and rural roads which present higher risks.

“Expect the unexpected and drive at an appropriate speed where you can react quickly to any hazards and stop safely.

“Speeding is one of the four factors that could increase the chance of road users being killed or seriously injured in a road traffic collision. It’s not worth the risk.”

The road safety charity Brake is among the organisations concerned about the speed of traffic on Britain's roads.

A spokesperson said: "Speed can be the difference between life and death. The speed a vehicle is travelling dictates whether or not a driver will be able to stop in time to avoid a crash and, if they can’t, the force of the impact.

"Fast-moving traffic also creates unpleasant noise and air pollution, making our communities less safe and deterring people from walking and cycling."


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