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Speeding drivers take advantage of quieter roads and MOT exemption

Police urge public not to exploit the situation and cause work for already overstretched forces and NHS workers.

Drivers have been taking advantage of roads left empty by driving irresponsibly and speeding - with one motorist clocked by Kent Police doing nearly 130mph.

Traffic officers stopped the driver on the A429 at Sittingbourne on yesterday (Wednesday 26 March).

Other forces reported similar incidents, as North Yorkshire Police's assistant chief constable Mike Walker said officers had seen drivers motoring at "highly excessive speeds".

He added they had also been stopped for offences including using their mobile phones at the wheel.

ACC Walker said said: "These actions can have fatal consequences which tie up emergency service and medical resources at a time when they are needed most.

"We have a duty to uphold the law and keep our roads safe for everyone, regardless of the wider situation nationally."

He went on to say added: "At the moment the public won't see a difference in policing in the county other than increased hygiene practices, protective equipment if necessary and other practical measures taken to protect our workforce.

"However, let me be very clear - motorcyclists and drivers should be staying at home unless their journey falls into one of the essential criteria outlined by the Government."

Garages remain open for essential repair work while drivers will face prosecution if they're caught driving unsafe vehicles.

But the Department for Transport has granted car owners a six-month exemption from MOT testing from Monday 30 March.

West Midlands Police's road patrols had come across at least one driver doing 70mph in a 30mph zone.

In a tweet, officers from the force's response units said: "Ladies and Gentlemen of this fine county, I've had cause to speak to several drivers taking advantage of the quiet roads and going a little too quick.

"70 in a 30 is far too much. Please folks, don't make more work for the NHS."

North Wales Police's road policing unit said: "Despite being asked to stay at home, we are still seeing people drive at high speeds on some of our roads - this includes motorcycles too.

"Maybe it's because there's less traffic on the roads? Maybe it's because some are still taking advantage of the good weather?

"There is no excuse. The last thing we need is to deal with a road traffic collision. Our NHS colleagues are under extreme pressure. Don't add to it."

Officers used tactical contact to arrest the moped rider 

Meanwhile a wanted moped rider in London who avoided arrest  by riding at officers failed in his second escape attempt a few hours later.

The Metropolitan Police said the suspect evaded officers on Wednesday after being seen riding his moped dangerously in London's Trafalgar Square.

The man drove his vehicle at officers, and officers  discharged a Taser but the man drove up an alleyway and escaped.

Other officers spotted the same driver on Notting Hill Gate and stopped him on Gloucester Terrace, where he tried to make off by riding on the pavement.

The rider was stopped using tactical contact and a Taser was discharged at around 8.45pm.

A 24-year-old was arrested on suspicion of failing to stop for police and dangerous driving, as well as breach of a court order, driving while disqualified and assault on an emergency worker.

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