Gwent Police is urging motorists to slow down to save lives following the launch of a speed enforcement operation by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
As part of the two-phase approach, officers are already patrolling the five local authority areas to remind motorists of the potential dangers of breaking the speed limit.
Phase two of the operation will begin next week, with Gwent Police stepping up speed enforcement activity for a further two weeks and focusing on areas where speeding is a regular problem or areas with a history of serious collisions.
Superintendent Glyn Fernquest, of Gwent Police’s operational support unit, said: “Gwent Police is committed to protecting all road users.
“Our message is clear: the speed limit has not changed. If you are caught speeding or driving recklessly, you will face enforcement action.
“Checks are taking place across the entire force area, enabling our officers to more easily identify those that drive carelessly or illegally, putting themselves and other motorists at risk.
“The force is also operating regular checks on our major and minor arterial routes to ensure that those wishing to travel are conducting essential journeys only. If you must travel, please obey the speed limit.
“The Welsh Government guidance is clear. Travel should only occur locally and only for essential reasons. The expectation is that people do not travel to Wales in order to exercise also.
“If you are approached by an officer after travelling to Wales from England to exercise, you will be asked to turn around and it could ultimately result in enforcement action.
“To reiterate the first minister of Wales’ message: please visit Wales later.
“We look forward to welcoming visitors back when the time is right, but for now, please continue to stay home and help save lives and do not travel unnecessarily for exercise.”
During the month of April, Gwent Police stopped 47 motorists for drink or drug driving offences and seized 94 vehicles in the Newport and Monmouthshire areas.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, roads policing lead for NPCC, said:
“This national operation is an important way of highlighting the dangers of speeding, particularly when so many people have not been out on the roads for quite some time.
“Unsurprisingly, the lockdown saw very quiet roads. Many forces reported increased speeding in a general sense.
“Speeding kills, and driving within the speed limits makes our roads safer. Please slow down and save lives.”
Notes to editors
In phase one from Monday (18 May), forces will be sharing messages across social media and other platforms encouraging the public to slow down and save lives, in addition to normal speed enforcement activity.
Phase two from 25 May will see forces step up visible speed enforcement activity for the following two weeks, focussing on roads and areas where speeding is known to be an issue or there is a history of serious collisions.
Figures show that, on average, 17 people are killed and 126 are seriously injured every month in the UK, where speeding is believed to have been a significant factor.
At 30mph, vehicles are travelling at 44 feet or about three car lengths each second.
Even in good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 30 mph and 35 mph is an extra 21 feet or 6.4 metres – more than two car lengths. This could make all the difference in avoiding a collision. The distance required to stop safely, significantly increased at higher speeds.