Drivers across Derbyshire are being urged to slow down as speeding offences increase by 10,000 and deaths on the road double.
Despite the national lockdown, 50,000 people were caught speeding in 2020 across the county - with 8,300 being caught on one stretch of the A52, in just seven months.
Derbyshire Police say that 26,000 people were caught speeding in the first five months of 2021 and 14 of these collisions were fatal. The figure nearly equals the total for the whole of 2020, where 18 people lost their lives.
A National Police Chief’s Council Speed Operation will be in enforcement between 26 July and 8 August, focusing on the speeding element of the fatal four offences, with the aim in reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on Derbyshire's roads.
The Derbyshire Roads Policing Unit, Casualty Reduction Enforcement Support Team (CREST) and Community Speed Watch program will be out in force, tackling irresponsible drivers who choose to take to the roads and drive at excessive speeds.
Officers will also be educating offending drivers on the risks that they take by committing these dangerous offences, where they risk the lives of not only themselves, but the lives of other road users and vulnerable passers-by.
'Speeding shatters countless lives'
Chief Inspector Dave Nicholls said: “Speeding is the number one cause of deaths on the road in our county - it is as simple as that.
“Every time you break the speed limit you run the very real danger of seriously injuring or killing yourself or someone else.
“Everyone who has died, or caused the death of someone else, never thought it would happen to them – but we know that it does.
“We know that, because we have to go and tell the mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and children of those killed on or roads that their loved one is never coming home.
“Most people see speeding as a victimless offence, let me be clear, it is not. It shatters countless lives.
“And what is most agonising of all is that it need never happen. The time you will gain getting to your destination is seconds, the consequences of your behaviour can last a lifetime.
“If you want to drive fast then there are plenty of opportunities to do that – but the roads of Derbyshire are not a race track and we will do everything within our power to target those roads we know to be of concern and help keep those who live, work and visit our county safe.”
Sergeant Adam Titterton, Road Policing Unit operational lead, said: “Speeding is one of the biggest contributors to fatal road collisions every year, yet we still see people getting behind the wheel each day and driving at reckless, uncontrollable, speeds.
“For those that always comment ‘why don't you go after the real criminals?’, well, look at these statistics – that’s 14 people, so far this year, that can never take to a road again and families that will never get over the loss of their loved ones, losing their life in such a mindless manner. Though we’d much rather our time was spent elsewhere, it’s obviously worth our time to police these offences, if it means we can protect others from harm.
“The message is simple, speeding kills – the faster you go, the more severe the impact should you be involved in a collision. Even 1mph can mean the difference between life and death.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the law-abiding citizens of Derbyshire, for helping to keep our roads that bit safer and be assured we are taking these offences extremely seriously.”
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster, said: “Across Derby and Derbyshire people tell me that they are concerned about speeding vehicles. In reality, a speeding car is a dangerous weapon for other road users, pedestrians and of course those travelling in the car.
"Speeding is dangerous and it’s just not worth the risk. I promised to do everything I can to help improve road safety and I will be working with partners to boost the campaign to keep Derbyshire’s roads as safe as possible for everyone.”