On Saturday, May 16, the first weekend since lockdown measures were eased, there was a 34% increase traffic on roads in Northumbria Police Force area compared to the week before.
And in one day alone hundreds of drivers were caught by mobile speed cameras in the region – including vehicles driving at twice the legal limit.
On the 50mph stretch of the A1 near to the Metrocentre in Gateshead more than 360 motorists were caught over the limit in just six hours, including one driver who hit 87mph.
In Newcastle twelve people were caught speeding near to the Cradlewell Bypass in Jesmond including one motorist driving at 43mph on the 30mph stretch of road.
But the worst offence of speeding came on the Felling Bypass where 64 people were caught over just four hours – including one driver caught doing 97mph on the 50mph road.
Northumbria Police, like may UK police forces, has stepped up its crackdown on motorists who are putting lives at risk by driving at high speed as part of a National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) campaign.
From next week police will be increasing their deployment of mobile speed cameras and traffic patrols will also target locations linked to irresponsible driving.
Chief Inspector Sam Rennison, of Northumbria Police’s Motor Patrols Department, said: “It is no secret that we have seen a small minority take advantage of the quieter roads and driven at high speed across our region.
“These motorists are putting lives at risk and showing no regards for other road users – particularly more vulnerable people like pedestrians or cyclists.
“Some of the cases of speeding have been truly shocking and just last week we caught someone driving at almost double the 50mph limit.
“We will have a more visible presence on our region’s roads and our Operation Dragoon team will also be targeting those who put lives at risk when they get behind the wheel.
“There is no place for irresponsible or reckless driving in our region and I would urge motorists to demonstrate the respect for their communities they have shown during recent weeks.”