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Pandemic leads to speed epidemic

Cops police speed speeding extended

Traffic offences are understandably down as there are fewer vehicles on the road, but the lockdown is also creating lonely roads where motorists are hitting some ridiculous speeds.

We have seen several reports of high-speed police pursuits around there world, but the highest speed was clocked by a Nebraska motorcyclist at 170mph (273km/h).

The rider tried to exit an interstate but lost control of his Honda motorcycle and slid down an embankment. The state trooper dragged him out of a pool of leaked fuel and slapped him with a fine for suspicion of wilful reckless driving and flight to avoid arrest, among other offences.

Aussie hi-jinks

Some riders in Australia are also taking advantage of the lonely roads, often with late-night and early morning high-speed runs. 

Two 20-something motorcyclists riding at speeds up to 200km/h have been charged following two separate pursuits with NSW Police in Sydney’s south west in recent days.

NSW Police say that during the lockdown there has been a 40% increase in high-range speeding offences over 30km/h and 45km/h compared with the same period last year.

Queensland Police gave us three examples of high-speed riders who recently copped high-range speeding offences costing $1245 and eight demerit points:

  • On April 1 around 4.14pm a 31-year-old man riding a Harley Davidson was allegedly detected travelling 194km/h in 100 zone on Logan Motorway at Larapinta;
  • On April 2 around 10am a 37-year-old man on a Yahmaha motorcycle was allegedly detected travelling 126km/h in a 60 zone on to Logan Motorway onramp at Drewvale; and
  • On April 6 around 10.30am a 61-year-old man on a Honda was detected travelling 102km/h in a 60 zone on Tamborine Oxenford Road at Wongawallen.

Test of restraint

Google Maps shows how far Ipswich riders can go.

This weekend, Queensland will allow riders to travel 50km from their home for recreation.

It is among several relaxation measures that will be used as a test to see if the public can exercise some restraint and control.

Authorities say they will penalise flagrant abuses.

They may also penalise the rest of the community by tightening restrictions again if too many people flout the rules as we saw last week when Sydney opened beaches only to close them again after they became overcrowded.

Meanwhile, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says riding a motorcycle is exercise and therefore legal.

She says NSW Police have not booked anybody for riding a motorbike, “because that is akin to riding an exercise bike”.