Hundreds of offences detected in latest speed campaign

Police are reminding all road users to drive and ride responsibly, after more than 800 speeding offences were detected over the bank holiday weekend.

Officers were deployed across Surrey and Sussex to provide education and enforcement as part of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s bi-annual speed campaign, and in response to community concerns.

This consisted of static checks and proactive patrols on main roads including the M23, as well as rural routes including parts of the A29 and A272 in West Sussex, and sections of the A259 in East Sussex.

Across the weekend, more than 600 speeding offences were detected in Sussex and approximately 285 in Surrey, resulting in fines, prosecution notices and words of advice.

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “It is clear from the feedback we’ve had from the community and on social media that our response to this national campaign has been well received. However, it’s also clear that a small minority of motorists continue to drive or ride in excess of the speed limit.

“This is not about targeting any vehicle type in particular; this is about educating all motorists and providing enforcement where necessary. The bottom line is if you don’t exceed the speed limit, then you have nothing to worry about.”

In addition to speed checks, officers also detected a number of other offences, such as drink-driving, driving without insurance or an MOT, driving with an illegal number plate and this insecure load in Winchelsea, which resulted in a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice:

These dedicated patrols were in addition to Surrey Police and Sussex Police’s ongoing commitment to tackling the fatal four offences – speeding, drink and drug-driving, mobile phone use and not wearing a seatbelt – 365 days a year.

The campaign is also run in conjunction with partners including Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and DriveSmart in Surrey.

Chief Insp Hodder added: “We work closely with our Community Speedwatch volunteers to identify areas of concern and to address them accordingly. This may involve educational messaging, site speed checks and proactive policing enforcement.

“While the vast majority of road users drive safe and responsibly, there are a small number of people who wrongly assume they can use our roads to commit offences. In doing so, they are risking the lives of themselves and other road users.

“It only takes a momentary lapse in concentration or an unforeseen hazard to cause a collision. Once you add excess speed into the equation, these risks are greatly increased. Speed kills, it’s as simple as that.”

Last year in Sussex, a total of 1,393 speed-related collisions were recorded – the highest number in the county since 2009. Of these, 315 resulted in serious injuries and 18 in fatalities.

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne commented: “Sussex residents are still telling me that road safety is one of their top local priorities, especially since lockdown has led to some road users ignoring safe speed limits.

“The recent rise in local council tax supported by residents has enabled Sussex Police to invest more money into the roads policing unit over the last year. I’m pleased to see that the team continues to take swift, proactive action to reduce the number of collisions and fatalities on our roads during this crisis and beyond.

“Sussex Police will continue to be a visible presence on our roads, educating all road users and they will not hesitate to use enforcement where necessary.”

For more information on this speed campaign, please see a further press release on the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership website here.