JUST over 500 Hampshire motorists were caught speeding in April, dropping by thousands of offences when compared to the same month last year.

New figures have revealed that a total of 578 people were caught speeding in Hampshire during the month of April this year - the height of the coronavirus lockdown period.

This is a drop of more than 6,000 offences when compared to the same time period last year.

Police chiefs have said that they have seen a decrease of of speeding offences due to less vehicles being on the road during lockdown.

They explained that during the first six weeks of lockdown, fatal and serious collisions halved in the county.

The figures give number of offences and highest speeds in April 2019 followed by April 2020.

In April 2019, 7,368 drivers were caught speeding in the county with the fastest offender clocked at 113mph.

This is compared to the 578 drivers caught in the same period this year, with the quickest speed recorded at 98mph.

Chief Inspector Chris White from the Roads Policing Unit said that in Hampshire police have seen a "significant decrease" in recorded speeding offences during the pandemic, explaining that this is what they would expect with less vehicles on the road.

He added: “During the first six weeks of lockdown, fatal and serious collisions halved, whilst minor injury and damage collisions fell by more than half, compared with the same period in 2019.

“Speeding is one of the ‘fatal four’ factors that results in fatal or serious injury collisions.

“Throughout the pandemic, officers from our Roads Policing Unit have been carrying out patrols across the county aimed at discouraging speeding and enforcing the law in the same way as communities would expect of us.

"Just as before the Coronavirus crisis, high risk driving and riding continues to result in deaths and serious injuries on our roads, all of which puts a lot of additional and unnecessary strain on the NHS and other emergency services on the frontline.

“In May, we supported the national police Chiefs’ Council’s ‘Slow down, Save Lives’ campaign which was launched to remind motorists the importance of travelling within the speed limit, while promoting greater awareness around the dangers of speeding.

“We remain committed to ensuring the safety of our local communities, and through the use of marked and unmarked cars, vans and motorcycles, we are maintaining an active presence on the roads.”