Speeding offences in England and Wales fell by 12.9% in lockdown-affected 2020-21 compared with 2019-20 but fines for careless driving increased by a fifth.
Statistics released by the Home Office today (Dec 14) reviewing offences up to March 2021 also show that the number of drivers who were penalised for using their mobile phone while driving fell by two fifths, while neglect of traffic signs (such as ignoring a give way sign) dropped by a fifth.
However, the number of offences for people not wearing a seatbelt increased by 17.4% and licence-related offences also increased by 10.3%.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, said: “While many heeded the calls to stay at home, some who ventured out on the roads tried to turn empty streets into a racetrack.
“During the first lockdown, several drivers felt that traffic police would be enforcing pandemic related laws rather than the rules of the road. Thankfully they were wrong, and the message was heard loud and clear.
“As we hope for some form of normality in 2022, it is the perfect time to hit the reset button on our driving behaviour. Slowing down, allowing more room for cyclists, horses and pedestrians and locking the mobile phone away are things all drivers must do to ensure safety on our roads.”
The number of people given a fixed penalty notice, driver retraining or court action for obstruction, waiting or parking offences also fell by 33.3 per cent in 2020, too.