'Rusty' motorists warned to drive slower than normal on North Yorkshire roads
Police are warning "rusty" drivers to slow down as traffic levels continue to creep up on North Yorkshire’s roads.
The relaxation of some lockdown measures has meant more vehicles are on the road - along with more pedestrians and cyclists.
But officers have noticed that many motorists are struggling to drive safely after not being behind the wheel for weeks.
It has prompted emergency services and local authorities to share a joint message to motorists as part of a national campaign.
The “slow down, save lives” campaign is taking place throughout England and is aiming to keep people safe as some travel restrictions ease.
North Yorkshire's roads policing inspector Dave Barf said: “In the last week the roads have begun to change – significantly more motorised traffic is out there returning to work. They’re sharing the roads with more vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians who are still ‘locked down’ and using the roads quite legitimately for their exercise.
“On top of this, many motorists have been making very limited journeys in the past few weeks, or none at all. Our traffic officers have noticed that driving skills in some cases appear to have become decidedly ‘rusty’.
“So, while speed is under the spotlight in this campaign, we’re also reminding motorists to take care – give yourself that little extra time at junctions, remind yourself to check your mirrors, concentrate on your position on the road and remember never to use your mobile phone while driving"
Since lockdown measures began, North Yorkshire Police said it has recorded drivers at speeds of up to 132mph.
Officers have highlighted figures which show a vehicle travelling at 35mph rather than 30mph needs an extra two car lengths to stop.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for access, said reducing excessive speeds is vital in reducing collisions.
He said: “Over recent months and as travel restrictions are gradually eased, so many more people are cycling, walking or using their own cars rather than public transport, so it is essential that we maintain safety on our highways.
“In North Yorkshire we have seen a steady drop in the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads in recent years, but we still have a long way to go. Speed is the most common factor in accidents, so if we can control speeds we can reduce the number of accidents sharply."
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